Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Music in the house


Saturday was the opening night of the 85th season for the Ann Arbor Symphony.  There is something special about standing in  a full house and singing the National Anthem, being supported by a full symphony orchestra, that made me realize how lucky we all were.  Lucky to be in a beautiful place, lucky to be listening to such a fine orchestra, lucky to have family and friends to share it all with.

Warming up

Warming up

This season will be all about contrasts, writes Maestro Arie Lipsky in the program.   Opening night proved he was serious as we listened to Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein, with it’s full and lush orchestration  bouncing between classic and crazy, to full on crazy with Commedia for (almost) 18th century orchestra by William Bolco,  and back to sweet traditional sounds in the “Unfinished” Symphony No 8 in B Minor by Franz Schubert.  And that was just the first half.

After intermission we were immersed in Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, a pounding, intense and relentless dance telling the story of a pagan rite; sacrificing a young girl who dances herself to death in order to placate the god of spring.   The music is difficult, to play as well as to hear, yet it is also impossible not to be drawn in, not to hold your breath, not to let it sink into your being.

As I listened I thought about all the wonderful music that has been heard and absorbed in this place.  And I wondered whether hints of all the music that has come before has somehow been preserved in the crevices of the ornate ceiling, in the dark corners of the upper balcony.  Maybe entwined in threads of the velvet curtains up on the stage are bits of notes from past concerts.  I image late at night all these remnants of concerts past mingle in the air creating a collage of sound.  That makes me smile.

Holding the memories

Ceiling art

As usual the audience was on it’s feet as the last bits of music exploded above us.  We were on our feet as the season opened singing with gusto, and on our feet as the evening closed showing our appreciation.  And in between we were transported; nodding our heads, tapping our feet, holding our breaths and letting them out in a big exultant sighs of joy.  Yes we are so lucky.




Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

17 thoughts on “Music in the house

  1. that has always been one my dreans to sit in the middle of the front row and listen to a world famous symphony….. Ravels……. Bolero !!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Seems like that’s a do-able dream…though I don’t know how to keep track of local symphonies and when they might play Bolero…I heard it last year in AA…or maybe the year before. …we should do some research and see if we can find it near you!


  2. check it out – one of the best version ever……. you need a good 15 minutues to listen to it….it slowly builds….love how they keep adding new instruments each round…..


  3. Such a treat to have great music nearby, to feel the music in your pores and your spirit. Whatever makes you smile is a very good thing.



  4. So glad you had a wonderful evening and your soul is filled with sweet melodies yet again. You are lucky you live so close to Ann Arbor. I miss visiting that place. Too bad our son couldn’t get a job there some day. Wouldn’t that be a dream?


  5. Love your new header! And yes, you’re definitely blessed to have attended such a glorious performance. I like how you describe the remnants of concerts past lingering in the ceiling and curtains.


  6. Music is always more powerful when it’s live and you’re with a group if people. Sounds like s fantastic night, and what a beautiful theater.


  7. Sounds like your symphony thrives because it is a pleasure to listen to the skill and passion the music is woven together with and also because of the love and passion of the audience that is listening. One hand claps or perhaps clasps the other other to create beautiful music and community.
    Love the new header. Such vibrant colors.


    • The community of Ann Arbor DOES love it’s symphony! There’s a lot of support back and forth between the orchestra and the community. It’s a really cool environment.


  8. Dawn, your descriptions make me want to undertake the journey south to attend. I want to relish a collage of sound! So glad your music-loving soul lives so near there 🙂


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  10. We love how u described music being stored in the ceiling . Interesting idea.


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