Not all conductors, or orchestras, accept the dictates of the audience as Stokowski did, but in live performances the people in those rows of seats, interacting with the artists, make a significant contribution. The musicians have played the same notes at each rehearsal, but they come together differently when they are played to an audience.
Last week's concert was a joyful experience for me. A group of adults - some of them my friends and neighbors - provided pleasant sound; the students who joined them gave promise of more music in the future; and I felt very much a part of it, bathed in memories of the many concerts to which I have contributed as a member of the audience.
Betty VanNewkirk is the historian for the Frostburg Museum.