I first heard about the Edmonton Symphony's "Rusty Musician" program through a concert program I picked up back at the start of the year when I was in the city to watch a performance. Immediately, I found myself intrigued. The "Rusty Musician" programs provides an opportunity for adults who have played a standard orchestral instrument in the past and who have either set it down or perhaps don't play in a professional capacity, the opportunity to work with and receive instruction from professional orchestra musicians. A week of instruction (with the option of private instruction and masterclasses) culminates later in a performance with ESO musicians at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton.
Of course, I was very interested. In fact, I had been waiting for several weeks (at one point checking on an almost daily basis) until the online registration and application forms were made available so that I could apply.
While it's been awhile since I've done any sort of active performing, music has been a very important part of my life and it's difficult for me to recall a time when it wasn't. Reading music really became just like reading any other language for me and I went through a few phases in high school and university where I'd get my hands on a musical score, throw on the music and then follow along.
During university I was involved in a couple of large productions, a Christmas concert recorded by CBC Windsor and a performance of Carl Orff's 'Carmina Burana', both of which took place at Windsor's Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. I have no idea how many people the church holds but I do remember it being packed full and an estimate of several hundred people wouldn't be too far off the mark.I've done countless piano recitals so while I've always been a bit of an introvert, paradoxically performing in front of large crowds doesn't really bother me all that much.
Aside from playing piano from childhood up to my university years I also played horn in high school for about a year before switching over to trumpet. I actually still have that trumpet tucked safely away in its case downstairs. I played in high school bands, citizen bands and marching bands in both army and sea cadets. Come to think of it, that trumpet has been to a hell of a lot of places - from all over southern Ontario, to Quebec, to Vancouver Island, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and even Baffin Island. I'm not sure if it will also be taking me to Edmonton this summer for this academy yet (I'll have to wait until I hear back about my application) but certainly, it doesn't hurt to try.