Friday, May 04, 2007

Musical Memories

It's been a beautiful spring week here in New England. One day there were buds, the next day there were blooms. The trees are leafing out. The grass is greening up nicely. The sun is warming up and thawing out the ground. I've had my windows open every night and I wake to bird song, a glorious sound. I surely love this time of year. I feel so much more alive.

Tonight I went to a concert of the youth orchestra my nephew plays in, the New England Youth Chamber Ensemble. Many of its members are the children of the "kids" my sisters and I played with in the older version of this group, the New England Youth Ensemble. My brother-in-law is a charter member of the older group, as is his sister, who now directs this second generation group. It was a wonderful concert. My nephew even played a solo. And yes, I was a very proud aunt.

Sitting there for an hour and a half or so, listening to oh so familiar pieces, brought back a myriad of memories of my days with the Ensemble. Truth to tell, I was on the far side of "young adult" when I played with this group (about 15 years ago) (unlike my sisters, who were in their teens and early 20s when they played). I was between teaching jobs, going to graduate school at the time, and I happened to be available when the director was looking for a clarinet player at the last minute before a major tour to China. You can bet I didn't hesitate one second when she asked if I'd like to play with the orchestra. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Those three weeks turned into three years of sheer joy traveling and playing all over the world.

Luckily for me, there were several older "youths" in the group at the time, so I didn't feel out of place. Much of the time we traveled with a college choir which had several former students of mine in it. They had a bit of adjustment, initially, seeing their teacher as just another musician instead of someone in charge of them. We got over it pretty quickly, though. I am friends with them to this day, having formed a stronger bond with our common experience as world travelers.

Anyway, I had many flashbacks to other times and places as I enjoyed the evening's offerings. Put a perfect cap on a beautiful day. I came home to find my cats enjoying the bouquet I'd brought home earlier. I love that they appreciate beauty, too.

1 comment:

InlandEmpireGirl said...

I played flute in our school band for 8 years. My sister used the same flute and now my niece is playing flute. I started a tradition. I love how cats find beauty like we do. Happy Sunday!