Appreciating the Intangible

President’s Message, September 2006

How can we express and share the intangible experience of great music? One way is through appreciation.

Used in the sense of growing money as a result of wise investing, appreciation is valuable for any organization, including a non-profit like the BCO. There are many ways to see how the orchestra is applying the principle of appreciation: we have more musicians today than when we began in 1989, and along the way we have also grown (appreciated) our music library, instruments, equipment, audiences and repertoire.

Since it may be a bit easier to see why a musician serves our community, perhaps we can get a little deeper insight regarding the spirit of appreciation by examining something less tangible: how some of our administrative volunteers appreciate our community through service in the orchestra.

Who would believe someone living in Florida would want to make volunteer investments in the Bedford area? One couple commutes all the way from Florida to serve in our lobby and on our logistics team for the two days preceding BCO concerts. Neither one is a musician. If they were only out to donate time to their community, why leave Florida – and their jobs – and travel all the way up to Virginia? It’s definitely not for the applause.

One of those Florida people shares, “Volunteering with the orchestra has shown me how to step outside of my comfort zone and create. I am now applying the principles I have used in the BCO in my personal life. Volunteering has enabled me to accomplish my personal dreams, and has helped me to connect with our community, truly giving me a real sense of accomplishment.”

A member of our technical staff said, “The BCO enables me to give to our community in a valuable way, even though I am not a musician. The orchestra gives me a way to support music, which I see as a universal language that transcends our normal communication barriers.”

This transcendence is often hard to define or put a value on, although we usually know it when we experience it. It’s similar to going shopping for a gift and saying, “I can’t tell you what I am looking for, but I’ll know it when I see it.”

The BCO’s volunteer membership ranges from professional musicians to publicity staff – each of us believing in the intrinsic value of music. We hope you agree, and hope you will continue to find ways to financially support and appreciate the orchestra’s efforts to help improve, enhance and broaden the quality of life of our community.