We are actors of a thousand emotions and expressions, made up and outfitted with beautifully detailed costumes. Colorful decorations matter. This is the entertainment conceived by composers, encouraged by conductors, and delivered by the musicians. What a thrill, what an honor to play a part!
The richness of the music, the colors of the instrument groups, and the passions of the players all contribute to make concertizing an art. More than a job, it's a mission, a commission. We get to translate all those little black dots on the printed page into sound, magically bringing them to life, and then singing out that message to the people.
What room is there for fear or pride? This "business" is far greater than the performer. We are just the somewhat lowly messengers of the music. This is exhilarating yet humbling. It is also a tremendous antidote for stage fright. We are consumed by the beauty of the product we deliver. Honing that product is our life's work, our passion, our frustration, and our satisfaction, however imperfectly we may do it. We don't shoot for perfection, we shoot for excellence in communication.
The great Mel Broiles had his blunt way of getting his students fired up about practicing. "You're not going to deliver any pizzazz in the show if you haven't ever done it in the practice room."