The midnight performances
The Student Orchestra of Elsewhere University has more performances than announced to the public. Performances late at night, with the students dressed their finest, in front of seemingly empty seats. Some hear the clapping and the cheering, others do not. Some see vague shapes but as the conductor has reminded them again and again, they only look at their sheets or at the conductor. They play their best, upholding the unity of the orchestra as the highest good, a battle (concerto from the latin concertare, to fight or dispute) against false notes and wrong rhythms that would disrupt the performance.
The unity protects the players. The beauty of an orchestral piece stems from the unity of the group. Remove a piece or a player and the unity is diminished. The gentry does not take players from the orchestra if the performance pleases them. You are safe to play as long as you play your best. Woe is to the player who messes up, not even the conductor may save them if the piece falls apart.
Only the conductor speaks to the unseen audience. No one knows what was the price for such a privilege must have been but the conductor never graduates. The conductor watches over the players. The students of the orchestra come and go, the conductor stays, watching over the players.