GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Founded in March of 2009 to offer local amateur musicians an opportunity to enjoy playing their music with their peers, the Really Terrible Orchestra of Westchester marks its fifth anniversary with a concert at the Greenburgh Public Library Sunday, March 2 at 2 p.m.
Founded by Irvington violinist Barbara Rosenthal and four other musicians, The Really Terrible Orchestra was modeled after the Really Terrible Orchestra of Edinburgh, Scotland, created by author Alexander McCall Smith in 1995. The group has to 40 members strong in 2014.
The (Not) Really Terrible members say their mission is to be open to all who want to play in an orchestra regardless of skill level, and to give performances for the community. The orchestra strives to be inclusive and was the first “No-Audition” orchestra in the area.
Harry Bright, violinist, said RTOW said his journey back to playing music after retirement from a career working for the state department, teaching and coaching track and field.
"I began playing the violin at age 5 in North Carolina," Bright said. "It was a tradition in my family to play an instrument, as my mother was a classical musician. I played through college at Seton Hall University in New Jersey on a track and field scholarship, so the track & field consumed most of my time."
Bright said, like many of his peers, music has become a joyous pastime.
"Upon retirement I began studying violin at the Music Conservatory of Westchester," Bright said. "I played with another orchestra and when that disbanded, I joined the Really Terrible Orchestra of Westchester. I’ve enjoyed my two years with the orchestra, and being with others who enjoy making music."
Bassist Ferdie Flick said playing with the orchestra is about the search for life's harmonies.
"I guess no one really knows when the first individuals got together to produce sounds in synch with one another," Flick said. "It doesn’t matter except for the fact that it has never ceased since. The quest for that perfect resonance is always there, almost always – just beyond our reach. This probably best describes my relationship with music and with the RTOW. It has been a wonderful learning experience for me, admittedly humbling at times. But that amazing transcendent feeling of everyone “getting it right” has to be lived to be appreciated."
RTO of Westchester is led by Ivy League Educated and classical bass player Nathaniel Chase.
RTOW is a 501(C) 3 organization and a member of ArtsWestchester.