Maris Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s performance was a enriching experience. An orchestra performance isn’t something that typically interests me, but was grateful for the opportunity to see Marin Alsop conduct and the Orchestra perform.

I really like how Alsop went about this performance. To me, it was kind of like a beginners experience for seeing an orchestra. Instead of all of us taking our seats and listening to music we were unfamiliar with for a few hours, Alsop provided interesting dialogue with the pieces that were performed. Because Alsop talked about each piece a bit, the performance was significantly shorter, which, for a beginner in orchestra concerts, was good.

Alsop has a witty personality which also captured the audiences attention. She made the old musical numbers relatable to the audience. I really like how she compared them to a season and then further compared different aspects of the song to metaphorical sounds of seasons – the flies, a rain storm in the summer. She extracted different sounds of the song, made a metaphorical reference to a sound we’re familiar with, and then put all the different aspects she had extracted together and played the full piece. As she would explain the different aspects of the pieces she was able to keep the mood light and, this is where I felt the experience was for beginners, refrained from using any intense orchestral jargon.

This was the first real orchestra I have ever experienced and I am thankful I did. It was an interesting experience and I really enjoyed how Alsop presented it. Also, prior to going to the orchestra I wish I had known more about Marin Alsop. I was fascinated by all the things she has accomplished in the Baltimore area and her personal story, hearing her lecture at another even made me admire her even more. She is a fantastic conductor and mentor and I am glad I had the privilege to experience of show.