The Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle


Dr. Robert B. Petters

Dr. Robert B. Petters
Emeritus Professor
North Carolina State University

Welcome and thank you for visiting the website of The Really Terrible Orchestra Of the Triangle (RTOOT)!

The RTOOT is a unique organization. From a humble and humorous beginning, it has evolved into a full symphony orchestra with over a hundred amateur musicians conducted by Dr. Robert B. Petters.

The RTOOT was founded in 2008 by W. Sands “Sandy” Hobgood (1945-2016). Sandy was a keyboardist and conductor in the Triangle area since 1952. Sandy had a very special sense of humor that he brought to RTOOT.

My Strow W. Sands Hobgood

My Strow W. Sands Hobgood
1945 - 2016

Who are we? The Really Terrible Orchestra Of the Triangle exists to encourage those who have been prevented from playing music together with others, either through lack of talent or some other factor, to rehearse and perform in an ensemble of similarly afflicted players.

We acknowledge as our musical heritage the world-famous Really Terrible Orchestra (RTO) of Edinburgh, Scotland, which was founded by the eminent Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith. Similar to the RTO, the primary goal of The Really Terrible Orchestra Of the Triangle (RTOOT) is to involve amateur musicians in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area who are not quite competent enough to play with the North Carolina Symphony, the Durham Symphony, the Raleigh Symphony, or the Chapel Hill Philharmonic. Our passionate mission is to reach out to the entire music community, irrespective of individual expertise, in order to underline our commitment to accessibility and relevance. Accessibility, because we provide a unique opportunity for musicians of any age to play in an orchestra regardless of their level of competence. Relevance, since our necessarily somewhat humorous performances attract delighted audience.

-- W. Sands Hobgood

The RTOOT today - in two seasons each year, Fall (September-December) and Spring (February-May), the RTOOT rehearses at a Cary Community Center on Sunday afternoons and performs a concert at the Cary Arts Center in December and May.

Auditions are held each year in mid-August and mid-January also at the Cary Arts Center. Invoking the spirit of Sandy Hobgood, auditions require an amateur musician to be able to read music and breathe simultaneously.

The Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle (RTOOT)
Center for Documentary Studies
© 2010 Duke University
Kim Best