In my role as high-school orchestra parent/roadie/groupie, I often accompany groups of violin-toting teenagers as they perform in various venues. One of the activities of the T.C. Williams High School orchestra is busking. Don’t know what it means to busk? Here’s a definition:
busk1 /bəsk/ verb 1. perform music or other entertainment in the street or another public place for monetary donations.
Small groups of students play outdoors to raise money for orchestra activities; currently, that means raising money toward the spring orchestra trip to Boston. On Saturday, a group of seven orchestra students — six violinists and one violist — braved cold temperatures to play in public in Old Town Alexandria, just after the annual Alexanadria Scottish Walk Parade. A cello would have been nice, but none of our cellists was free that afternoon, and the musicians did just fine without one.
They set up in front of the Christmas tree on Market Square and performed for nearly two hours, despite cold temperatures that make it hard to keep fingers agile and strings in tune. But they sounded great, playing holiday songs and other favorites.
And they raised more than $500 for the orchestra!