Our trip to Boston and the Boston Symphony Orchestra was a phenomenal experience for the students and all persons involved, one that I am sure will reverberate in memory with good feelings connected to our orchestra and school. From a smooth trip on a beautiful sunny day to the intimate experience of listening and talking with a member of the Bass section before the concert, to the performance itself in Symphony Hall, this trip was an extremely high quality and first-time experience for many young musicians.
The concert program featured Schumann’s “Spring” Symphony No. 1 followed by Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. This was ideal as students were able to start (with the Schumann) by hearing the precision, virtuosic playing, and incredible sound of an elite orchestra playing in a style that felt familiar. Then, they were able to be blown away by the vivid colors, bombastic rhythms, and huge ensemble of the Rite of Spring.
Talking with multiple groups of students on the bus ride back, I was struck by the way each student took things away from varied parts of the experience. Some were amazed by the presentation of BSO Bass player Ben Levy—struck by the beauty, singing sound and finesse of the large instrument, by the craftsmanship of the wood that they were able to see by being so close to him, and by the extreme demands of the professional audition process. At the end of the concert performance, I witnessed at least two students nearly dumbstruck by the experience, feeling the beauty and seriousness of the music and unable to put much into words. Our professional cello soloist from the fall concert, Joseph Gotoff, joined us for the concert and chatted with our students during intermission and after the concert as well. It was nice to tie in previous concert experience and for students to see musicians in a different setting.