I was worried about this one. I’d missed the first three or four rehearsals while I was still in Alabama, and I missed the last rehearsal because I was in Washington DC. I tried to practice enough to make up for missing so much of the work, but there’s only so much I could figure out on my own.
It turns out, for me anyway, the concert went just fine. Sure I skipped a few measures, but for the most part I kept up and at least knew where I was. Trust me, that can be key!
And anyway, the night was more about saying goodbye to our seniors. We are lucky enough to have several students from the local high school play with us each year. Many of them play with us through all four years of high school.
We get sort of attached to them. We’ve watched them grow up from shy freshmen to confident almost adults. And we’ve benefited from their enormous talent.
And then comes the end of May and it’s time to say goodbye to another crop of seniors. They come up to the front of the stage and tell us and the audience what they’re going to do next, be it school or the Armed Services, or internships, or family businesses. Whatever it is that they’ve chosen we’re always happy for them, but sad for us, because this will be our last concert together.
This year we also had the privilege of a college senior playing with us. She just graduated from Central with her degree in music education and she’s going to be the music director at a town several miles northeast of here. She’s a talented sax player and has made us sound pretty great on more than one piece.
Last night she directed the band in a piece of music she chose for us. And as I watched as she led us through to the magnificent and joyous ending I noticed her smile, almost a grin. Her face lit up, she was having so much fun leading the music. Just imagine the joy and wonder she’ll provide to an impressionable young group of middle and high school kids.
I hope we did her and all the other seniors proud last night, and all season, and I wish them much success in the next chapter of their lives. I can’t imagine it not going well for each of them; they are all so very talented and genuinely nice people.
And if we’re lucky maybe they’ll stop back someday, play with our group again at a rehearsal or a concert. Or just update us on what’s new in their lives. We’d be glad to have them, after all, they are and always will be part of our family.
I received a lovely rose at the end of the concert, a token of appreciation from our director to me and many others who have played with the group a long time. This morning it’s fully open and just beautiful.
Sort of like summer, opening up before me, full of possibilities.