Stepping on Stage With the BSO

The author improves his musicianship during a BSO Academy rehearsal. Photo by Arthur Feller.

Rosemary High School Band, Andrews, South Carolina: the humble beginning of my musical journey. I would discover quickly that my real musical interest was in classical works. I could listen endlessly to the background music in many of my favorite television shows.

When I was an undergraduate, I enrolled in a music-appreciation class, where I learned the rudiments of the classical art, including definitions of words I had often heard such as concerto, sonata, and movement. I found myself fascinated by the backgrounds of many of the great composers and by the various interpretations of their compositions. Even more interesting were the class assignments that required me to listen to a composition, dissect it, and attempt to interpret it, summarizing my best guesses as to what the composer was thinking as he wrote. But the thing that really galvanized my interest in classical music was having to attend concerts and write reports about both the music and the orchestra. Since then, I have maintained an interest not just in the music, but also the performance.

After I began working in Washington, I decided to rescue my trumpet from its silent hiding place and begin playing again. With a level of enthusiasm I hadn’t felt in ages, I enrolled at the Levine School of Music and later the Washington Conservatory of Music. I hoped to improve my understanding of music theory as well my playing techniques and skills. I began taking private lessons, and I now play in my Church’s instrumental ensemble, which affords opportunities for group performances.

Each of those endeavors has helped improve my level of proficiency and musicianship. However, nothing has come close to my experiences over the last two years as a participant in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s (BSO) Academy for amateur and semi-professional musicians.

My goal is to become an accomplished, sought-after trumpet player. I love music; I want an audience to get as much enjoyment from listening to me play as I get out of playing.

The BSO Academy provides an intensive one-week musical workshop, including master classes, teaching, coaching, and classical performances. The week culminates with a finale concert, including pieces by some of the most preeminent composers ever. During the practices and performances, I have gotten to sit and play side-by-side with some of the world’s best musicians.

The author rehearses with the BSO. Photo by Arthur Feller.

The experience has been a dream come true, but I can honestly say that the Academy and the BSO itself have far exceeded my expectations. I am a much better musician and performer now than I was leading up to my time with the BSO, and this experience has been a huge step as I work toward growing into the musician of my dreams.

Who would have imagined that a lawyer’s musical journey, begun in a high school band in a little South Carolina town, would include a seat on the Meyerhoff stage playing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra?

Henry Green, a graduate of Howard University’s School of Law, works in the district as a health lawyer. He lives in Maryland.