From Washington Post: Alsop’s staff initially thought she was a little crazy. Major international orchestras work hard to be the best at what they do and be admired by their audiences, not mingle with them. Would amateurs be good enough to play with professionals? Would anybody be interested in such a scheme? The answer to the second question rapidly became clear. “Within 24 hours,” Alsop said, “we had 400 people sign up.”
From Baltimore Sun: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s latest project is aimed at amateur adult musicians who would like to step not just onto the concert hall stage, but into the thick of orchestral music-making itself. For a week, beginning June 13, participants in the academy — tuition starts at $1,650 — will work intensely with BSO players and music director Marin Alsop.
Maryland's leading arts organization had survived a 22-week musicians' strike in 1988–89, the longest in American symphony history. Sales were slow in recovering; state funding to the company was to be cut by $1 million in 1992; new income initiatives were needed to fill these gaps.