“Most of all, it’s (re)engaging people with music, seeing the joy it brings to musicians, and knowing it strengthens individual and community soul and spirit.”
Bob Myers, DCCOS Executive Director, Piano and Voice
INFORMATION SYSTEMS SECURITY POLICY CONSULTANT, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
FROM WASHINGTON GROVE, MD
DCCOS exists because of you – tell us a little about how you formed the organization and why.
Today’s DCCOS is a far cry from what I set out to create in 2007. In 2006, the Yamaha grand I’d had for 30+ years “broke.” I bought a new Steinway grand but found it hard to motivate myself to practice solo repertoire. So, I started a Meetup group for musicians interested in Chamber Music, to help drive me to practice. After a few years, the group “sprouted” a chamber orchestra and chamber ensembles started asking for performance opportunities, precursors to today’s DCCO and DCCM. I guess you could call me the “accidental” founder of DCCOS. And that casual meetup group for informal chamber music (CM-MDC) still thrives today alongside DCCO and DCCM!
Give us a snapshot of your musical background.
I started studying piano at age 3, under my mother’s tutelage. Piano quickly became a solace and a passion for me, and I decided early on to pursue a career as a concert pianist. After high school, I landed at Oberlin College and Conservatory where I realized my career goal was an incredible longshot. I segued into a career in IT and continued with piano as a serious avocation. In 2007, at the same time I started the chamber music Meetup, I joined The Washington Chorus as a baritone (now a full bass), appearing at the Kennedy Center and other prominent venues, and as a guest chorister with the NSO and BSO. The singing and chamber music activities relit my passion for a (second) career in music, albeit as an amateur. I’ve performed chamber music concerts with DCCM and appeared as a soloist with DCCO.
“Singing and chamber music activities relit my passion for a (second) career in music.”
What do you do in your day job?
I’m an information systems security policy consultant for the Department of State. And if you’d told me 25 years ago that that’s what I’d be doing, I’d have told you you were crazy. It defies brief description, but let’s just say I help keep the government’s computer systems safer. The choice of safer with an “r” at the end is quite deliberate; there’s no such thing as keeping computer systems “safe” anymore.
What are some of your goals for the future of DCCOS?
Oh my gosh, in many ways, we’re still at the fledgling stage and there are so many things to be done to properly mature the organization. My two personal goals for the organization are 1) to develop it into a genuinely self-sustaining organization where I can more fully take on the proper responsibilities of Executive Director, and 2) to see DCCO truly become the finest non-professional orchestra in the DC metro area. My model is The Simón Bolívar (Youth) Orchestra as it was under Gustavo Dudamel prior to 2011, only for adult non-pros.
What do you like most about being the Executive Director of DCCOS?
I’m a compulsively organized information hound with a background in IT project management. I actually enjoy managing the details of running the organization, producing concerts and coordinating events. The demands of development work have also brought me out of my introverted shell. But most of all, it’s (re)engaging people with music, seeing the joy it brings to musicians, and knowing it strengthens individual and community soul and spirit.