Orchestra invites “terrible” players to have fun with music-making

Posted on: June 26, 2012


In Monday’s (6/25) San Jose Mercury News (California), Richard Scheinin writes, “It’s a perfect Sunday afternoon, and the sounds of an orchestra are wafting across the playing fields outside the Hillview Community Center in Los Altos … The violins are sensationally out of tune; the French horns are blooping notes big-time. Yet the familiar melody grows strong and soulful.” He’s describing the Terrible Adult Chamber Orchestra (TACO for short), which was founded in January 2011 by Humphers Smith and her violist husband, Kent Smith. TACO is one of two orchestras – the other is Berkeley’s Really Terrible String Orchestra (RTSO) – that were inspired by Scotland’s Really Terrible Orchestra (RTO), an ensemble founded in the mid-1990s that has “gained international coverage for its horrid performances in London and New York.” TACO’s members embrace the spirit of mediocre musicianship for the sake of having fun. For that reason, TACO (unlike the other groups) never performs. “That’s a selling point for TACO’s members, many of them high achievers – physicians, teachers, tech workers – who perform to exacting standards daily in the workplace,” Scheinin writes. Newcomers are encouraged to join their “gatherings” once a month for a $10 fee (or $25 for three sessions).

Posted June 26, 2012