Yesterday, BUTI had the privilege and the gift of being able to welcome a new group of students to campus. These students, prodigies of their craft, will make up seven challenging and diverse groups on campus. The Young Artists Orchestra, Young Artists Vocal Program, Young Artists Wind Ensemble, Young Artists Composition Program, Young Artists Piano Program 1, and Young Artists Harp Program will be staying with us for the next six weeks.
The day ran smoothly as our team scattered across the state lines to pick up students at airports and bus stops and as families were welcomed here at 45 West Street. By the time Registration was closing for the day, we were all looking forward to our celebratory BBQ.
Unfortunately, nature didn’t share our vision for a beautiful BBQ on Groton Lawn. By late afternoon thunder and lightning shook the grounds and our Student Life and Dining Staff had to work together to move a meal prepared for hundreds into a smaller space. Despite the less than ideal conditions, our community overcame and by the end, many thought it for the better. The close quarters inspired mixing, and families and friends who might never have met, bonded, and shared laughter through the rain.
Once fed, families said goodbyes and the students were all ushered into meetings with their individual programs and were given the opportunity to meet their cohort, talk over their schedules, and learn details about private lessons.
The Student Life team met with the students next to offer a brief introduction to Student Life on campus and the BUTI program. Lisa Naas, Director of Operations and Student Life introduced herself and welcomed the students to campus, saying “This is your home for the next six weeks and we are all here to help you feel as comfortable, happy, safe, and supported in your musical journey as possible.” Later she added, “Tanglewood is a remarkable place and we are all very lucky to be here; I truly believe that it is impossible not to be touched by the experiences we will share.”
Next, Kathy, the Head Usher, at Tanglewood spoke on behalf of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, “We welcome you here, we hope you have a great summer…one of the wonderful features of being a BUTI student here is having access to Tanglewood and hearing the best music in the world—and it’s always just a few steps away.”
Dining and Nursing staff members both showed up to give quick briefings on dietary and physical health during the next six weeks. Ryan, the Dining Manager was excited to announce that they would be offering gluten-free and vegan options at every meal and would be posting all the ingredients (down to every last spice) for every meal provided. Ginny, Head Nurse, made sure the students felt comfortable knowing that their office would be open every day between the hours of 7am and 11pm, and that there would always be a nurse on-call overnight. Ginny then listed a few preventative tips for a safe summer.
Next, Dave Faleris, Program Administrator for BUTI was introduced and encouraged students to remember that for every week they are on campus, they are receiving a college credit and that was a responsibility that needed to be taken seriously. He let students know that we have repairmen available to attend to anything that might befall their instrument and encouraged them to make the most of their BUTI experience, “Explore as much as you can, there is a great wealth of music and art around, experience the Berkshires.” He also encouraged the students to begin to see themselves as colleagues, “Get to know each other, you will undoubtedly run into each other much later in life and you don’t even know it yet. Be kind and respectful to everyone, and have a great summer.”
The Management team and the RAs spoke next, educating the students on their individual job descriptions with a little fun and frivolity thrown in for good measure. When the meeting finally concluded, everyone felt a little more at home, and ready to retire finally to their dormitories for a quick floor meeting before bed.