When I took up the violin, I hoped to one day be able to play in a community orchestra, to make music with other folks. A few weeks ago, my violin teacher told me about a community orchestra for "intermediate" string players, and gave me the email address for the leader. So I emailed, and tonight was the first rehearsal.
Let's just say, I have a WHOLE lot of practice to do. There are retired music teachers and such in there, as well as a bunch of health professions folks, and pretty much everyone plays way better than I do. But everyone was friendly and encouraging, especially the conductor/organizer.
The conductor/organizer (let's call her Maestra, shall we?) runs a cello studio in town, and does the intermediate string orchestra as part of her professional work. There's a nominal fee for the "semester" which probably covers the purchase and copying of parts and a stipend for her.
The music was hard for me, especially sight reading, but I think with a lot of practice, I'll be able to do my part to make it. The overall level is higher than I'd thought, but that will be nice as I improve. Meanwhile, we have to skip next week because there's a concert by the grown up community orchestra, so I have two weeks to work on the music.
I was thinking of it as a middle school level orchestra, but I'm guessing it's more high school level, except everyone was so friendly that it felt really good even though I wasn't keeping up musically.
I had a good lesson today. I'm progressing on my piece; plenty still to work on, but at least my practice showed. And my teacher started me on one small part of the next piece, so I'm pretty excited.