I've been at the Children's Orchestra Society as Assistant Conductor for over 6 years now... and as I think about how the years have passed, I marvel at the changes in both the group and myself.
Sometimes the years pass quickly, sometimes they pass painfully slowly.
Each year, a group begins raw, a hodge-podge of collective experience/ inexperience, skill/non-skill, enlightened/unenlightened, some new and some older. As each year passed, those groups came together for a common goal of learning the language of music, and having a successful concert... Sometimes the journey was easy, sometimes it was very hard, but the journey was always made, and for the most part, successful.
When I think about the concerts that are done by everybody, I'm always reminded that most (as in the audience) see only the final finished product. It's exciting, and inspiring, to see young musicians do their very best. The young members of the audience may even join our programs based on the wonderful performance they've seen.
Occasionally, some get discouraged, because when the season starts, it's that raw, sometimes unpleasant sound, of an orchestra that's put together anew. Rebirthing pains, if you will. Some even want to leave based on the first rehearsals... They failed to understand and take into account that what they saw before was a finished product. They weren't there when the blood, sweat, and tears were expended in each and every single rehearsal in a long season.
That's okay. The ones that do stay become better musicians.... forever transformed and strengthened and tempered by the rigors of working with many to play as one with a common goal.
It looks like it'll be a good year....