Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pride, joy, hope

Earlier tonight, I attended Scott's last school concert. Both he and Sarah have been lifers at their school, starting there with pre-kindergarten and continuing to high-school graduation. (Scott's not quite there, but soon enough, he will be.) Both have played violin for almost the entire time. I've missed few of their concerts--and hated missing those--but there was no way I was going to miss this one.

I'm so glad I was there. I found it a very moving experience.

I've written before about school concerts, and I've generally enjoyed them. This one, though, was special for several reasons. Being Scott's last, of course, was the main one. He's always shown musical talent, but he's grown into a fine violinist who has an understanding of music playing that I will never approach. I was so very proud of him tonight; I doubt he'll ever understand just how proud I am.

The program also did something at the end that the school has not done for several years: It brought together on the stage the lower school, middle school, and upper school orchestras. In this picture, which I snapped with my phone, you can get a sense of how many kids were up there playing together. (As always, click on it for a larger image.)

I have to apologize, by the way, to the conductor, because in the odd lighting this photo makes him appear headless. (I'll write more about him tomorrow.)

Scott, by the way, is sitting first chair next to a middle-school violinist.

The merged orchestra sounded wonderful. The two short pieces they played were understandably not the most complex, but I loved them. They ended with the finale from Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, and I could not help but be filled with joy.

Staring at all those kids, youngsters ranging from first grade to twelfth, I also felt something I do not feel often enough: hope. My generation and my parents' have not taken care of the planet the way we should, and I often despair of the future, but when I see bright children coming together for a common cause and producing such beauty, I find I can believe that humanity can fix its problems, and I resolve again to do my part.


Anonymous said...

I had the joy of attending, on the same evening, Sarah's last concert of the season at Duke. While many could expect that students leave high school and their playing with others at the same time, the Duke Symphony proves that college and orchestra can mix...beautifully. That orchestra is made up mostly non-music majors (plus community members.) it is inspiring to know that with so many other distractions, their music goes on. It stays with them...and I get to enjoy it, too.

Michelle said...

What a very proud moment for you and for your son. First chair! Congratulations, to both of you, for a wonderful culmination of many years of hard work and good parenting.
By the way, the verification word is suessel. I think that is very fitting.

J. Griffin Barber said...

That's awesome, but I must say I think Scott will understand his father's feeling when he watches his own children perform tasks for which he has less talent than they. It is the way of things, I think.

Mark said...

Griffin, I think you may well be right. I certainly hope so.


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