One of the great things about FMC is performing here. Unlike almost any other place I’ve ever been, the audience here will love you just for trying. While of course they are overwhelmingly impressed by…well, impressive performances, the audience here also applauds wildly for anyone in the community.
This is especially great, I think, for those among us who are new to performing. There is no where safer in the world to perform for the first time than FMC. If someone is tentative or scared, or even if they mess up their piece, you can almost feel the audience pulling for them. There is a real sense of support and love for whoever is up on stage, whether they are the most talented camper or staff member or the most beginning.
I chalk a lot of this up to the non-competitive nature of FMC. Here, it’s not about who’s better; it’s about personal growth and change. We do have enormously talented students here, but they are working to get better for themselves, not compared to someone else, and we encourage that kind of mindset. We are so excited to see any growth here, no matter the scale. I know it was this kind of thinking that attracted me to FMC in the first place, and I genuinely believe that working hard within a strong, supportive community is exactly the right formula for growth for so many young people.
So tonight, as our campers enjoy their third staff recital, and as they see their peers perform on two camper recitals this week, I will be thinking about how nice it is to be a performer here, to receive love and support for playing music in a public venue.