I love outdoor concerts, and Tuesday evening I was treated to a band concert played on a lovely stage facing a green hill filled with people enjoying the music.
The band is made up of musical professionals in Southeast Michigan. Band directors at school districts across the region and other musicians get together to rehearse and then put on a fun and varied concert for all of us.
These people are good!
It was a lot of fun, especially listening to some pieces that I’ve played myself. It was an entirely different experience to sit in the audience where I got to hear parts of the music I’d never heard before.
What a lovely evening. Children laughed and ran up and down a hill off to the side. Birds sang from the trees, and swallows swooped and twittered overhead.
One little boy in particular wasn’t interested in playing with the other children. He was mesmerized by the band and continually tottered down to the front to get a closer view.
His mom would come and get him, carry him back up the hill, but the next thing you knew he’d be down front again, engaged in the whole experience.
Sometimes when I’m enjoying a concert at a hall I imagine all those notes rising up and layering high on the ceiling. I think about all the music that’s been played in the hall over the years. I like to think it’s still there, tucked into the curtain material, etched into the paint. Floating in the air.
Tuesday night as I watched the birds flying overhead I thought about this music having no roof, rising up and up into the clouds where it could be enjoyed by the world. Like ripples in still water always moving outward, I imagined the music gliding up into the clouds with nothing to restrain it. Moving into the heavens and then into space.
That thought made me smile. And so did the Southeastern Michigan Wind Ensemble.
You can likely have a similar experience this summer. Check around your town, there’s probably a concert in a park near you. They are mostly free, just bring a chair and spend an evening watching birds and children chatter while you listen to music as it floats on it’s way up to forever.
And then, hopefully, you’ll have a sunset like the one we had on your drive home.
And it got better, morphing into this when I got out into the country near home:
It was the perfect ending to a perfect evening.
July 25, 2018 at 8:04 pm
You are right–there is nothing quite like an outdoor concert. We have several in the surrounding areas in the summer and I really do enjoy them. I love how interested that little boy was in the music. I so hope that continues!
July 25, 2018 at 8:13 pm
Me too. I envision him growing into a high school band director.
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July 25, 2018 at 11:08 pm
That little boy was my son! I think he might have been trying to get a closer look at me and my saxophone. Thank you so much for this beautiful article!
July 26, 2018 at 3:39 am
Awwww. He’s adorable. Email me at email@example.com and I’ll send you another image of him sitting on the hill. I didn’t use it because it shows his face but you might like it.
July 27, 2018 at 11:29 am
It’s so interesting how you write about music and the way it moves you. It’s so alive in your words and spirit!
July 30, 2018 at 10:48 pm
Music is alive all the time, at least to me!
July 27, 2018 at 11:44 am
What a great venue — reminds me of our community band concerts (https://domermom.com/2018/06/14/stirring-sounds/) earlier this summer (and how much I miss them!!). It’s nice to hear how music touches us, whether we’re playing or listening. Some folks even brought their dogs to our concerts, and the canines seemed to enjoy the sights and sounds as much as their humans!!
July 30, 2018 at 10:49 pm
I’m sorry I missed this post! I’m so excited that you’re having a great time in your community band! You’ve described the experience exactly!
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July 28, 2018 at 3:04 am
My best friends in college were music majors (I was math and computers). All of them talked about how much they loved music but also how they never really heard music because they were so focused on their own part, even soloists were so intent on the details that they missed out on the soaring birds and the notes floating all over the earth. I just looked online and found several outdoor music venues (free!). That was beautiful Dawn. Thank you.
July 30, 2018 at 10:51 pm
My roommates in college were almost all elementary ed. I was accounting. Our last semester they spent dong story boards out of felt. They asked me to be their audience while they practiced for their final exam. My last semester was tax accounting. It didn’t seem fair.
That aside…I’m glad you’re going to some outdoor concerts! And yes, when you’re in the band you don’t hear the big picture…but I have to say, even so…it’s more fun to play than it is to listen…and it’s darn fun to listen…so…..it’s a win win for me!