Tuesday, October 7, 2014

31 Songs: España

Currently, I am employed by a church. I direct Creative Arts ministries and lead teams and coach people and sometimes play piano and lead bands and sing songs and write scripts and edit sermons and make videos and plan strategy and frame baptism photos and talk to people and listen to people and cry with people and cast vision.

And lots of other stuff.

I love my job. 

But I didn't start here. I've been a musician since I was about 10 years old; my first gig was playing carols for the Cub Scout Christmas party. I started doing weddings and funerals in high school and was astounded at what 30 minutes of well-played music was worth to people. 

I went on to earn a degree in music education; I've taught in private schools, overseas and stateside, public schools and early childhood schools. I've directed musicals. I've taught private lessons. 

I play by ear, and I can hold my own at a standard jazz gig; but I also studied classical piano and can read fairly well. 

The diversity is a blessing, and yet it's a bit of a drawback. I am, I think somewhat mediocre at most of these things, in the grand scheme of life. You just can't do it all, and I've tried - too often - to do it all.

You can't. 

But I have the experience, and as I grow towards maturity (I'm gonna get there one day!), I am realizing that the experience grants appreciation, in different settings.

So tonight's venture into Richmond to hear the VCU Symphony was not uncomfortable or unusual for me.

Except for the fact that my son was performing. (insert huge smiley face here)

I was so proud of him - intense, focused, doing his percussion thing, looking great in his tuxedo. He moved to Richmond and enrolled in school to do just this - play music - and tonight he had a chance to perform. It was excellent. Very little room for error; I never fully understood how stressful it could be to have four or five cymbal hits that must be executed at EXACTLY the right moment...but when it was MY son holding the cymbals, I was stressed on his behalf.


Anyway, the program was excellent and not completely unfamiliar. I coached David and Courey on some basic concert etiquette (not always on display at the Powhatan Band Concerts - for example, do NOT yell, "YEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHH DANNNIIEEEELLLLLL!!!!")

(Actually, they knew better. I didn't need to tell them that one.)

So we enjoyed a short program of excellent music, conducted by an incredibly expressive and joy-filled Daniel Myssyk. I enjoyed every bit. 

The song for today therefore, is, more properly, a piece. Emmanuel Chabrier, a French compose, created España - a crazy, intense, beautiful, expressive six minutes of action. It was a brilliant closer.

It's not three verses and a chorus. It had no lyric.

But it speaks. And it's worth our time, as humans, to listen to what music like this might have to say. To me, apart and aside from the pride and joy of watching my son play a role in the workings of a talented team of artists, it sang delight and joy and the uninhibited  elation of being alive. It put a smile on my face.

Give it six minutes. See if you don't smile, too.

And watch the conductor.

1 comment:

Barbara London said...

Loved the "concert"!!! I LOVE MUSIC...especially when my daughter has been performing. I remember going to her piano recitals when she was in high school. One was a Concerto competition and I thought she played beautifully - only to find out from my daughter later that she completely missed a couple of pages (she played from memory - and the judges had to scramble to figure out where she was in the piece); she continued as if there had been NO mistake - and she came in SECOND in the competition!! Yes, we who LOVE music love it MORE when our children are performing!!! Thanks for sharing!!