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BSO Offers Amateur Music Camp For Adults

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The sound of the symphony is usually created by professionals. But a week-long program at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra allows amateur musicians to take the lead.

Gigi Barnett explains for many of them, it’s a second chance to be in the spotlight.

A seat on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s stage takes a lifetime of study under the best conductors.

But some of the musicians there aren’t professionals. They’re part of the BSO Academy, a week-long amateur music camp for adults who get a second chance at a dream.

“There’s just something magical about being that little part of that great big sound,” said Carolyn Williams.

Carolyn Williams was on track to a music career. She studied flute at the Peabody Institute. Life took over, music went by the wayside and now she’s playing in a major orchestra.

“This is a lot of work. And to do this every week with new pieces, these people, these musicians are consummate professionals. To be able to do this in a small chunk is fabulous,” said Williams.

The academy has 88 amateur musicians from 17 states selected to perform under the tutelage of BSO Mestra Marin Alsop.

She created the program to build a link from the BSO to classical music lovers.

“I think for people, this can be a life-changing experience. All of these skills that you develop in this week, you can take back to your everyday life,” said Alsop.

In addition to working with Alsop, the academy musicians also receive private lessons, master classes and side-by-side rehearsals with the BSO musicians. It’s the kind of intense training designed to produce growth.

“I want every single person to leave here saying, ‘Wow, I learned so much or I got so much better and it renewed my love for music,’” said Alsop

The academy wraps up this weekend with a concert. Alsop says participation is growing so fast, she may expand the program to two weeks next year.

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