Stuffed Shirt Meets T-Shirt
Years ago, as a young musician, I had the great privilege of playing in the American Youth Symphony, which at that time was the best (okay, the only) youth orchestra in Los Angeles.
I sat between my close friends, trumpeter Tony Plog and trombonist Jock Ellis, in a group made up of high school and college students who might or might not go on to play professionally. We were conducted by Mehli Mehta (shown here), father of conductor Zubin Mehta and, it turned out, a kind of musical father to the three of us. Mr. Mehta taught us about music, life, and the joy of loud brass playing.
In the years since, AYS has developed into a fine, well-run organization that serves as a training ground for young professional musicians. The quality of playing has increased dramatically, but I doubt that today’s members have any more fun than we had.