By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Those who have the gift of music spend years preparing to be a professional musician. But for everyone who makes it, there are untold others who wish they had.

Mike Schuh reports on the expansion of a program at the BSO to get the amateurs on stage.

To be a performer on stage at the Meyerhoff, it comes with much expectation and a bit of pressure.

“It’s always a little intimidating to sit on a huge stage like this,” said Dr. Birgit Kovacs.

But here’s the secret: Kovacs from Connecticut and Tanesha Mitchell from Baltimore are not professional musicians. But this week, they will be performing on stage with the BSO at the Meyerhoff.

It’s called the BSO Academy.

Mitchell is a mom who plays violin in the Columbia Orchestra–a volunteer community group.

“I’m used to being on stage, but this is something completely different,” Mitchell said. “There are times we’re rehearsing and I get really in the moment and I realize that there’s Marin right there in front of me,” she said.

Marin, as in world-renowned conductor Marin Alsop. This all was her idea. It’s in its fifth year–eight days, $2,000–a summer camp for adults, learning from and playing with the BSO.

“We’re the only orchestra I believe in the world that has anything quite like this,” said Carol Bogash, BSO vice president.

With 113 students, it’s going so well that others now want to duplicate it.

“This year, we have an administrator track. So I have people coming from other orchestras to learn how to do this,” Bogash said.

Not many of us get to live out our dreams. Lucky are those who are there.

“I feel totally exhausted, but I feel like I have learned so much,” said Kovacs.

“It’s all about enjoying the moment,” Mitchell said.

This Saturday at 7:30 the Academy Orchestra will perform at the Meyerhoff. The price is right–it’s free!

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