Hello and welcome to the Amateur Music Network blog!
This is my first post so I thought I’d introduce myself: I’m Lolly Lewis, the founder of AMN.
I’m a recording producer and an amateur singer, and I sang for nearly 15 years with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. This is where I learned how porous the boundary between “amateur” and “professional” is in music. I studied music and singing in college, and I have sung professionally (that is, for money) from time to time. But as a career, I was more interested in recording than in singing, and my passion is working with artists to make beautiful recordings. So I didn’t pursue a career as a performer, and I preferred to stay under the radar in chorus without the stress of auditioning to join the professional ranks. Nevertheless, the expectation of all singers, paid and volunteer, was to perform at a level commensurate with singing in one of the great orchestral choruses of the world! So we all worked hard and the satisfaction was immense. I’ve sung some amazing repertoire with some of the great Maestros of our time! How fortunate is that. And all as a true amateur: I do it because I love it.
The difference between amateur and professional in our culture seems so arbitrary. Yes, we all know there are players of the highest ability and skill level, those who dedicate their lives to playing music. Thank goodness for them! I love hearing that skill and dedication in concert, and imaginative experiences of such power are central to my life experience and satisfaction. Hooray for great concerts!
But that doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t have profound and joyous music performance experiences of our own, at whatever level we are comfortable. That’s why I founded the Amateur Music Network – to give people opportunities to sing and play, to improve their skills, and to join with one another to experience the joy of music-making.
I hope you’ll find this website useful in your own path and that you’ll help spread the word about the AMN. The more people in our community, the more vitality and richness we’ll all find here.