by Amy Denison

You know you’re a committed amateur when you plan your life around your rehearsal schedule.  In the Cincinnati Community Orchestra, we all know that Monday evenings from September to May are orchestra nights.  We plan our year around these Mondays and try our hardest not to catch a cold over the weekend or plan a late meeting on Monday afternoons that might cause us to miss a rehearsal.

What I value most about this orchestra is how we support each other in so many ways, musically and real world living.  This concert is an excellent example.  Many of our musicians have important solo passages and you’ll get to hear them shine at the concert this Saturday night, December 1st.  During rehearsals we have to stop when the soloists are finished so we can applaud them to let them know that we appreciate their contributions to the program.  We are not competing against each other, but rather supporting each other when we do really well or with passages that are just a little beyond our capabilities.  What we display every Monday night is a shared sense of humanity; we encourage, commiserate, listen and support each other in both our music and other things that pop up – that which we call life.

So at the concert you’ll hear the work of seventy plus musicians all playing separately, but not really.  We become one large instrument, that which we proudly call the Cincinnati Community Orchestra.

Amy Dennison is an oboist for the Cincinnati Community Orchestra. You can find her blog at