Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

History repeats…and repeats


It’s Tuesday night and that means I was at band practice right?  Well sort of.  Tonight the high school was doing a holiday concert, and as we have several high school musicians in our community band who would be performing, we opted to attend their event and then claim the stage after for our own dress rehearsal.  We have our holiday concert this Friday evening.

Today I had a specially difficult day at work and I wasn’t in the mood for holiday music, but the kids, dressed in their black suits and tux shirts or long black dresses quickly got me in the spirit.  They were just so elegant, so confident, so very very young.  And did I mention talented?

I watched them enjoy themselves as they produced wonderful music.  I watched them lean in and let all that creativity float free.  I watched them focus, concentrate, immerse themselves.  And I saw in them my own high school band, saw their futures spread out before them, remembered so much of what they have not yet experienced.

I wish them a future filled with music.  I hope when they look back 40 years from today they are sitting in the audience watching kids who are sitting elegantly, creatively, earnestly; kids preforming beautiful holiday music which helps to ease the day’s burdens and bring on the Christmas spirit.  And I hope they remember tonight and all they felt as they made the music that washed over us.  Better yet – I hope 40 years from now they are still playing in a band, still making music.

We gave them a standing ovation, then climbed up on the stage to rehearse our own music.  Tired, we ran through the music for the concert, cleaning up a few little things here and there.  I marked 4 measures I need to figure out before Friday, others did too.  Our last piece is the classic “Sleigh Ride.”  You know the one where the horse whinnies at the end?  Everyone does it.  Every year.  Without fail.  Still, it’s familiar, it’s Christmas, it’s fun.  What better way to end a concert?

The musical version of horses clomping through snow was ringing in my ears as I trudged out to the car through fresh snow, the wind whipping at my legs, my eyes stinging, my fingers freezing.  I was kind of loosing all that Christmas spirit.  But as I turned on the ignition the radio sprang to life…they were playing “Sleigh Ride” and I began to hum along.  And then I took the long way home, through the neighborhoods, looking at the Christmas decorations and singing with the radio.

Seems it just takes a little bit of music, a bit of reminiscing while watching talented kids play, a little music of my own, to let the cares of the day go.  I recommend it to all of you.  Check your local high school’s website.  Every school band is doing a concert about now.  Get yourself over there, support them and collect your reward – a renewed faith in kids, in holidays, in kindness and goodness and beauty.

You’ll be humming “Sleigh Ride” on the way home.  I guarantee it.

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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.

21 thoughts on “History repeats…and repeats

  1. For you I think Katie + music = sanity. Makes me happy for you.

    Sent from my iPad



  2. I occasionally see my high school band teacher walking around town. I always thank him.
    One of these days I may even stop my car, get out and thank him loud enough for him to hear.


  3. What a great night, and what a great group of kids!

    I wonder how many will still be playing 40 years from now. I know I hardly ever pick up my instrument. But one of my former bandmates is now the band teacher at the school where I teach! Whenever I pass him in the hall, it is like time traveling back to the halls and band room of my own high school. Band was such a little family. We started every school day with band, it was such a great way to ease into the school day.


  4. For some reason none of schools back home in Oz had music teachers or classes and no bands either….not sure why but we didn’t.


  5. Dawn, this post makes me nostalgic for my own Band days — and for Domer’s. Keep it up, my friend, and you’ll be convincing me I need to do more than just TALK about joining our own Community Band!!


  6. I’ve always liked the whip crack in the ” Sleigh Ride” .


  7. This is a happy post, Dawn. Yes, I remember all those school orchestra concerts back when I was a violinist and all the choir singing my family did in church (mother, father, three girls), and I was very, very happy last Friday evening watching our local children’s choir and youth ensemble and hearing them make beautiful Christmas music. Great reminders and great to have that cheery report on you humming along in the car.


  8. What a nice way to renew holiday spirit. I’ve been feeling a bit out of the spirit myself this year. I work at a middle school, and my daughter attends the local high school (she’s not in band or chorus however) yet I’ve never taken the time to attend these concerts.


  9. Good story, good reminder. Thanks.


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