Band and orchestra go to Boston Symphony

By Neil Sharma
Staff Writer

On October 7, 2010 Westford Academy Band and orchestra students took a trip to see the Boston Symphony at Symphony Hall rehearse. The conductor for this year’s reoccurring trip was James Levine. The object of this field trip was for the students to see how real musicians perform live.

“Well this is our big opportunity to see professionals in their own setting. It’s basically going to a job site and seeing them rehearse,” said orchestra teacher Ken Culver, “BSO is the top ten orchestra’s in the world, you know it is a world renowned orchestra, and symphony hall is one of the oldest auditoriums in the country. It is a place where we can see the best available, so students can see what they [the Boston Symphony] are doing. The students comment about how incredibly softly [the Boston Symphony] can play and the dynamic range that they have.”

For our WA musicians, it was an opportunity to observe their professional counterparts in action.

“I watched the percussionists; since I’m one, and saw them playing…it was a really fun experience,” said freshman band student Morgan Tansey.

Culver enjoyed this experience as much as his students.

“I love being in the live music, where you can hear the softest, the sound of the orchestra mixing in a big acoustic space. The difference between tang and fresh squeezed orange juice. You know there is nothing like seeing and hearing it [the concert] at the same time, live,” Culver said.

Many of the students, not only the teachers enjoyed the trip to the Boston Symphony. For many it helped give an idea how the professional work and how the conductor gives the musicians advice on how to play.

“It’s a really good experience to have, you get to see professionals doing their music and you get to see them rehearse which is interesting to see what errors the musicians made and how they fix those errors,” Tansey said.