The Really Terrible String Orchestra of SF Bay is dedicated to providing rehearsal and informal performance opportunities to Bay Area amateurs who have some training in classical bowed strings (violin, viola, cello and double bass). As local string teachers, we(the organizers) noticed that many of our adult students have few opportunities to make music outside of their lessons, and many are searching for an opportunity to play where there would be both a supportive atmosphere and "strength in numbers!"
There are other organizations of this nature in the US and abroad, but we are the first to start one in the Bay Area. The RTSO was inspired by the Really Terrible Orchestra, founded by Alexander McCall-Smith and friends in Edinburgh, Scotland. We are loosely affiliated by affinity and personal contacts, but are financially and organizationally independent. We and the other satellite orchestras stay in touch, share stories and trade tips on effective rehearsal and concert techniques.
In a typical gathering, players come with instruments and music stands on the last Sunday evening of every month at St. Clement's Episcopal Church in Berkeley CA. We meet at 6:30pm for questions about orchestra skills and warm up, then proceed to review pieces previously played through. After the substantial break with snacks and socializing we explore new material and end at 9pm. Folks are encouraged to join in at any point in the rehearsal schedule that suits them. The musical genres cover everything from the baroque era to 19th, 20th and 21st-c. compositions and arrangements, including pop standards and new works. The mood of our sessions is upbeat, very supportive and somewhat irreverent, with lots of laughter. During the year we intend to have one or two public performance opportunities, TBA. Every December we have an annual Holiday Pot Luck Sing-a-Long to which friends and family are warmly invited.
We have a three member board with Sara Usher serving as President (and General Manager), Renee Sheehan as Secretary and Donna Eyestone as Treasurer.
The official Music Director is David Morris, with back up by Sara, Rachel and Shira Kammen as needed!
We are a 501(c)(3) California Public Benefit Corporation, donations are tax deductible.