Two and a half hours later, back in the wing, Marsalis congratulates the singers and musicians with handshakes. There’s a sense of elation. “He’s so gracious,” says National Philharmonic double bass player Barbara Fitzgerald. “It’s amazing to be in the midst of these fantastic world-class musicians.” 

Two horn players, who sit in Wynton Marsalis’ section, warm up before the show. 

After the lights come on and the audience filters out, the stage is cleared for the next day’s performance by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Kassman rides with the risers as the platform that’s holding them is lowered like an elevator below the stage. He rolls the piano off the stage and into a wing, stacks chairs and removes music stands. It takes about 30 minutes. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will play a concert in Pennsylvania Saturday night before they and all of the key players—musicians and otherwise—return to Strathmore Sunday for the final performance of All Rise.

Wynton Marsalis wrote All Rise as a piece that crosses genres of jazz, blues, classical and international music. 

“To be part of that kind of work is really inspiring,” McCallum says. “When you go into the hall and you see that kind of performance on that scale, you realize that you’ve been a small part of it. Art exists on the stage, but there’s a lot of pieces that come together to make it happen.”  

After the show, which lasted two and a half hours, the trumpeter congratulated singers and musicians backstage. 

Stephanie Siegel Burke is a freelance writer and editor based in Bethesda.