Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Game of Trust

Tami Lee Hughes
As I child, I loved playing outside with my friends.  The weather in Baton Rouge was warm and sunny most of the year and our backyard was perfect for playing hide-and-seek or simply running around in circles.  One weekend, my friends and I decided to play a trust game.

The object was to blindly fall backward and trust a friend to catch you.  As the oldest and biggest child in the group, I was designated to catch first.  I stood behind the little girl who lived next door and prepared to break her fall.  As she turned her back to me, she looked behind her to be sure I was ready.  She saw two strong and sturdy arms extended in anticipation.  Fully assured I would catch her, she fell gracefully into my arms.  We immediately switched places.  With my back turned to her, I looked behind me to check her position.  Instead of seeing two strong arms, however, I saw two puny arms unfolded from a small frame.  I thought to myself, ‘Are you kidding me?  She couldn’t catch a feather!  I’m going to hit the ground hard!’   I turned around and took a deep breath.  ‘I’ll count to three,I thought, ‘and then I’ll do it.

Ok . . . here we go . . . 1. . . 2 . . . “Wait!” I shouted. “Are you sure you’re ready?”

“Yes!  I’m ready!”

Alright . . . I can do this . . . 1. . . 2 . . . 2 ½ . . . “Did you hear my mom call me?” I asked.  “I thought I heard something!”

“No!  Now hurry up and fall back!”

Deep breath . . . 1. . . 2 . . . 2 ½ . . . 2 ¾ . . . “Ah man!  I need to go to the bathroom and it’s an emergency!”  I took off running, leaving the trust game far behind.  I learned an important lesson that day: Trust is a matter of life and death.

Three months into my time with the BSO, I have settled into my performance schedule and have grown to admire so much about the group.  Maestra Alsop and the players display the highest level of technical and artistic mastery, professionalism, and passion, but from my perspective, these factors alone do not define the orchestra’s success.

The orchestra really thrives because of trust.  Maestra Alsop has full trust, confidence, and respect for the players.  She knows that every musician will play the right note at the right time and commit to the inspiration she provides. The players, in turn, trust Maestra Alsop.  They have faith in her judgment on musical matters great and small and hold her artistic vision in high esteem.  In addition, the players trust each other.  Each player depends on others in his or her section, and in other sections, for melodic support.  With trust as a cornerstone, the BSO’s success is not a reflection of individual expertise, but of genuine cooperation and teamwork. 

As an adult, I still cling to the idea that trust is a matter of life and death.  My closest friends are the most trustworthy people I know and I love cultivating new friendships with people I believe I can trust.  I’m truly grateful to spend a year performing with an orchestra that demonstrates this concept so beautifully through music.  Because of trust, playing with the BSO is not a mere exercise in musical proficiency, but a joy!

-Tami Lee Hughes, December 2012

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