Today we begin our Rusty Musicians rehearsals/concerts. This is new to me in an orchestral setting, though I do something similar a couple of times each year with my family. My two sisters both teach music, but my dad was a pension fund manager and my brother is an architect. The chamber music we play at family get-togethers is sort of a min Rusty Musicians, I guess.
It's easy as a performer to focus on getting the right notes and rhythms, making sure that the quality of the sound is just so, and whether or not you are perfectly in tune. I occasionally have to remind myself that while those efforts are important, it is the expression of music to the audience which is most important. Over the years, I can remember concerts that were technically imperfect but musically extraordinary. A bond of sorts is formed when the music leaps from the stage out into the hall and moves through, bounces off, is absorbed by everyone in the hall hearing and performing the music at the same moment.
I guess that is what should happen tonight with Rusty Musicians, though on a more intimate scale. Having done our "Side by Side" rehearsals and concerts with Baltimore, Anne Arundel, and Harford county high school students over the years, I know that it is gratifying not only for the students, but also for us BSO musicians, to make musical connections by sitting next to each other and by experiencing great music together. So I guess I have done a version of Rusty Musicians with the BSO after all, only with Developing, not Rusty Musicians.
I bet some of the Rusty Musicians will be nervous tonight, not knowing whether or not they will play "well enough," so to speak, to be on stage with us. Don't worry, Rusty Musicians! We'll have fun, probably laugh a little at all the missed notes (ours as well as yours,) and enjoy the camaraderie. (Sometimes, being somewhat perfectionist, we wonder if we are good enough, too!)