Udagawa on orchestras and community

Posted on: October 23, 2013

In Sunday’s (10/20) Boston Globe, Kathy Shiels Tully interviews Yoichi Udagawa, music director of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra and the Quincy Symphony Orchestra. Based in Massachusetts, the Quincy and Melrose groups are two of the country’s longest-running community orchestras. Udagawa: “I started out thinking I’d want to be a conductor of a professional orchestra, working exclusively with professionals. But working with community orchestras has so many great things about it. Everyone wants to be there. They’re not being paid for it. This is what they love. Even though they are ‘amateurs,’ we have some players who are playing at phenomenal levels. We have a whole wide range of very highly educated, cultured people in the orchestras.… An orchestra is interesting because it’s a collective effort. It always ends up being better when we all get together and work toward a goal. It’s a kind of mysterious thing in a way, where the whole is stronger than the sum of its parts. That’s why, when people come to hear a community orchestra, it can be so much better than what they expect. Boston is unique. There’s possibly [more] community orchestras in the Boston area than in the world.”

Posted October 23, 2013