Sunday, September 6, 2009

The children danced

Sarah auditioned for and won a seat in Duke's symphony orchestra. Tonight at 6:00, after only about four hours of rehearsal, they made their debut performance of this school year, an outdoor Labor Day pops concert. I attended primarily to watch my daughter perform, but by the end I was very happy indeed that I was there.

I'm not a classical-music guy. I'm a rock-and-roll guy through and through. Because this was a pops show, however, it included music that even I at least somewhat recognized--and a lot of it was not classical but rather other music I actually knew. The concert ran a tad over an hour and proceeded roughly like this:

* some Strauss
* some Mendelssohn
* some Brahms
* a Duke Ellington medley
* a Leonard Bernstein medley, all from West Side Story
* a medley from Grease (Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, sez Wikipedia)
* a piece from The Pirates of the Caribbean (Klaus Badelt)
* a John Williams Stars Wars medley
* John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever
The afternoon was beautiful, the temperature perfect, the white-flecked sky melding the best of summer's end with a hint of the fall to come. People spread blankets and folding chairs, ate cheese and chips, drank wine and water and soda, and watched as their little children played and listened and danced.

The children, you see, didn't know any of the pieces were classical or show tunes or movie soundtrack songs; they just knew it made them want to move. They bounced in time to the rhythms, they danced when the music possessed them, they turned away at the scary bits, they laughed at the funny bits--they reacted, as children so often do, directly and from the heart.

I am a very bad dancer. Somewhere long ago, I learned this fact, and I know it to be true. Every now and then, though, I wish I hadn't. I wish I could dance without inhibition, uncaring of how stupid I looked, simply because the music moved me and I was once again a child. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do that, but in the meantime, it gives me great joy to listen to the music, to watch and hear my own wonderfully talented children perform, and to see the children dancing.


Bernadette Bosky said...

Thanks for the photo-- Amazingly nostalgic to see East Campus again.

Mark said...

I'm glad you liked it. Next year, per Duke tradition, Sarah moves to West Campus.


Blog Archive