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Boy, did they sweat it. The Baltimore Symphony has a summer opportunity that the NY Times called “band camp”. Serious amateur musicians, the type who play in volunteer community orchestras, paid almost $2k to play with the pro’s. I mean, to play among, alongside, the pro’s – the paid musicians of an excellent orchestra in a week that culminated in a real concert, executing touchy music at a high level.

Why would you do that?? You have to be a zealot. Dedicated beyond belief. WIlling to submit yourself to embarrassing evidence of shortcomings. And earnestly desiring to become a better player. Why? To become a better clarinettist, or violinist or flaughtest [fluteplayer!]. Nothing more. Not for money, fame or notice.

Just the personal relentless pursuit of improvement, with the possibility held out of clutching for a nanosecond the transcendent chord of mastery.

To do that sitting beside a master, as Daniel Wakin did, beside first clarinetist Steven Barta, while racing through Tchiakovsky’s Cappricio Italiano was mainlining the elixir of life for him.

Zealots like Daniel are fascinating. To put it mildly, they’re into it. As my friend and fellow zealot, Janet Keeping, once said, “We’re so into it, we’re out of it.” So they might go overboard with the occaisional riff on – say hiking, but I’d take that over bland any day.

So many people act as if enthusiasm is gauche. How sad, to condemn themselves to tepid pursuits so as not to look uncool. It’s so much more fun to be crazy!
Having consuming passions makes life vivid. When you have a surpassing agenda or interest, everything about it jumps out at you. Life has significance.

One of mine is airplanes. My Dad was in the airforce, I caught the bug and got the licence early in my previous legal career. From then on, well, really much earlier, everything about planes was and continues to be significant. Not just a little, but a lot.
I was golfing at the Elks the other day. If the golf is bad there’s always the air traffic on short final for runway 34 or the birds drawn by the trees and the creek. 3 pursuits in one place!

Anyway, I looked up – and couldn’t contain myself. “Wow, it’s an Antonov 124!” as the behemoth spooled up to slow it’s ponderous descent. “That was the world’s largest aircraft – until they built the 6 engine version!” I gushed on while the rest of my foursome tried to figure out how to relate to this outburst.

I didn’t care! That thing has a takeoff weight of close to a million pounds!


Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

What’s Our Business?

Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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