Yesterday I heard an hour concert from one of thousands of village bands nationwide. The band was made up of amateurs from all walks of life: physicians, retirees, lawyers. They gave up their Monday evenings for rehearsal and performance, simply for the love (AMAteur) of the music.

It reminded me of my oldest musical memories – sitting next to my dad as he played first trumpet in the Franklin Village Band, some 35 years ago. A completely different group of amateurs, but motivated by the exact same love. I now realize that from the earliest, I was motivated not by professionals making a living as musicians, but by the people who love making music so much that they can’t not play.

I’ll bet it was the same for you. You didn’t start out in Robert Shaw Chorale rehearsals. You started with middle school choir, your parents’ local theatre productions, congregational hymns. You were motivated by being alongside people who loved music.

We can agree that the Boston Pops plays Leroy Anderson better than a community pickup band. But I’d often prefer to hear it played, with joy, enthusiasm, and passion, by a group of amateurs with nothing motivating them than their love for making music together.

And if my dad’s playing in the band, it’s no contest.