I'll admit I'm not much of a fan of the musical arts, particularly symphony or opera. It's never appealed to me. I don't dislike it, I'm just not a fan. I attended my town's symphony orchestra (not an official symphony orchestra, as it's part-time), and it was a good way to spend two hours of a Saturday evening and socialize. But I have to admit I would've rather been home watching my Syracuse Orangemen play Duke in basketball (they lost, and it was a great game). That's just how my tastes have evolved.
Tonight I watched the Kansas City Symphony play the national anthem at Game 6 of the World Series. I began to wonder, if you're a trained musician and you don't make a major orchestra, do you begin trying out for smaller city orchestras? I had no idea. I suppose you begin looking for seats in various cities until you can find one. Then I wondered whether it's lucrative work.
These are extremely difficult jobs. While I may not be deeply involved in the symphony, I am well aware how hard it is to be good enough to be asked to join one, especially the best (Boston, Philadelphia, New York, etc.). That said, how much could it pay?
I was rather surprised. I didn't expect them to live on subsistence wages, but it makes me wish I'd had a greater appreciation for music (and the talent to go along with it) in my youth.