In the Berkshires, the sounds of summer camp and the symphony collide.
Every year, 350 high school students forgo a summer of sleeping late and going to the beach to attend the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, a collaboration between the University and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, held at the BSO’s Tanglewood Music Center, in Lenox, Mass. The teenage musicians, who gain admission through a competitive audition process, spend up to eight intense weeks studying with Boston Symphony Orchestra members, performing with BUTI’s Young Artists Orchestra, and getting their first glimpse of life as a professional musician. For some, the institute provides an opportunity to become fully immersed in the world of classical music; for others, it’s the stepping-stone to a career as a performer.
“I have dreams about going back to Tanglewood,” one student says. “I remember how much better I had gotten just being here.”
This year students had a special opportunity to perform, as BUTI celebrated its 40th anniversary with a gala concert featuring a number of alumni and the institute’s own performance groups, the Young Artists Orchestra, the Young Artists Chorus, and the Young Artists Wind Ensemble. “You don’t come away from the concert saying, ‘Oh, well, that was good for high school students,’ ” says David Hoose, a College of Fine Arts professor and the school of music director of orchestral activities, and conductor of the Young Artists Orchestra. “These are some of the most interesting concerts that take place at Tanglewood.”