Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Joy of Music-making

About 16 years ago, I took two years off from teaching. I had a serious case of burn-out, so decided to take a step back, go to school again, and regain my perspective. I found a program at UNH that interested me and embarked on a journey that ended up giving me wings (almost literally) that lifted me out of despair and into a joy I could never have predicted.

The wings and the joy came through the orchestra I joined, taking me to the far reaches of the globe (including China and South Africa) and many places in between. The orchestra consisted primarily of high school and college students. I was neither, nor was I the only older player, but the youngsters embraced me and made me feel right at home. When the orchestra toured, it was usually with a collegiate choir, so there was a large group of us everywhere we went.

I don't have the space to recount all the amazing adventures I had during the parts of three years I toured with this group. Suffice it to say they were legion, and often profound. I'm thinking about them tonight because yesterday the next generation of both the choir and orchestra gave a concert at our church. For 90 minutes I was transported on a whirlwind tour of the places I'd been years ago. Each piece had it's own visual connection for me.

Oh, those were the best of times! I don't usually want to go back to another time in my life because I like who I've become, but those years are ones I'd go back to in a heart beat. Making music, and all the travel I've done in order to make that music for others, gave me such a joy that I can only imagine will be better in heaven.


Patty said...

I heard today on Oprah a quote that was good, "regrets usually come from the things we don't do rather than the things we do." or something close to that. We are the sum of our experiences and of what we will do.

Kelly said...

How wonderful that you understood what you needed enough to take off and do it! It sounds like an incredible experience.