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.