“I realized that my job is to awaken possibility in others.”

BPYO Rehearsal 2 - White Sheets

Benjamin Zander Center
Discussions — October 5, 2019

Dear Mr. Zander,

Today I firmly believe that the ensemble has reached a level of musical understanding and playing that it has not reached before. Although the third movement was definitely a struggle to go through and learn, it was extremely rewarding to be able to hear such a special piece of music with characteristics that almost no other piece displays. Once we reached the end of the 4th movement I was absolutely stunned. Like you said, this is an extraordinarily life-changing movement to hear. It is matched with some of the grandest sections and some of the most beautiful and touching moments.

Thank you,



I think today everybody seemed very tired and it could have been a rehearsal more effective, but I am still astonished on how we’re all working.



Dear Mr. Zander,

I made an effort to “walk with the spirit of love” last week. When my little brother was irksome and irritable, I spoke to him with a caring and warm tone. He wasn’t calmed immediately, but once he was, he was moved by our exchange. I sometimes walk from Park Street to South Station on my way home during the week, and a lot of homeless people beg there. I remembered the assignment one of these days and gave change to each homeless person I walked past. They were all elated.

To be a pebble, I think I’ll continue to give to the homeless, but also bear a giving characteristic all disposition to all I interact with.

This week’s rehearsal was rewarding. I can almost feel the orchestra cohese. Mahler and I will certainly inspire me to keep on with the spirit of love.

See you next week!



Dear Zander,

I struggled a bit today with the bass drum-cymbal attachment, as I’ve never been given the opportunity to play it before. I am excited to get experience on a new instrument. I am also excited for the concert already! It’s going to be an unbelievable experience when everything comes together.



Dear Mr. Zander,

What a magnificent rehearsal: We sound amazing for 3 weeks in. Our ending of the symphony is already so triumphant and grand!

I have a request: Can you email out the rehearsal recording? I think it’s be very beneficial to listen to, reflect upon, and use as a tool to practice with.



Today’s rehearsal was very very nice. I’m honestly not quite sure what to write; I do better with talking I suppose. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of today’s rehearsal. Look forward to next week!



Dear Mr. Zander,

I just wanted to write a quick note about your use of “Jewishness” and “Klezmer.”

I’m not religiously Jewish but I am culturally Jewish (it’s kind of hard not to be with a name like “Seth Goldman”. Personally, I did not like your playing of the stereotypes and if I didn’t know you were also at least culturally Jewish, I would have been offended. This is just what I felt though.

This is of little consequence, but I thought Klezmer, specifically, referred to jazz-influenced Jewish music and it got popular much after Mahler 1. The music still relates to Klezmer through similar origins though.

Thank you,



I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of tribes this week. I’m in a big variety of tribes- there are my friends that are musicians, who I’ve met at festivals, and at school and other programs, my friends that don’t do music, and the friends I’ve made at home that I did theater with. At BU it’s very easy to meet new people, and I’m finding with each new conversation I start, even if I don’t remember their name afterwards, adds value to my life.

I also wanted to discuss the tempos in the 4th movement. Unlike some songs I’ve sung in choir before or pieces played in wind ensemble for an extended amount of time, I haven’t gotten tired of this symphony. I agree that many meaningful progressions of the music in the movement are best brought out in slower tempos. However, this movement goes through every extreme imaginable- from soft and lovely to cries of angst. The recordings I love most of this movement draw my attention precisely because they emphasize that contrast, and emphasize the frustration in those specific parts by taking faster tempos.


See What Else is New