I’ve been lucky, not just because we have a new little puppy chewing our feet, but because my sister has been here for the past couple of weeks, and because we got to experience 3 different concerts over the weekend.
On Friday night my community band performed our concert, “Spring Potpourri,” directed by a guest conductor and featuring several of our members as soloists on assorted pieces.
We’ve grown a lot over the years, both in numbers and musicality, and it was fun to play together, under the lights on a stage with a pretty decent sized crowd applauding our efforts.
I’ve said it before, and it’s still true, as adults there are few opportunities to receive applause. No one claps when we make supper or do the laundry or go off to work or mow the lawn.
Most people have never had the thrill of accepting applause for anything.
Applause is one of the many rewards for playing in a community band. Friendships are another. And the joy of playing music is the best reward of all.
Saturday evening my sister, husband and I went down to hear the Ann Arbor Symphony play Debussy, Prokofiev and Dvorak. This concert was played at the historic Michigan Theater, built in 1927.
It’s a beautiful building and we had fun, prior to the concert, taking pictures of the ornate architecture. I liked the Dvorak piece, Symphony No. 7 in D minor, but my favorite was Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, with the beautiful flute in the beginning and woven throughout.
The principal flutist talked prior to the concert about what a responsibility she had playing this piece, the work is so famous and the expectations are so high. Of course she played it absolutely beautifully. My sister plays flute, so it was special to listen to this work on Saturday night.
Then on Sunday afternoon she and I drove about 45 miles to Imlay City to listen to the Belle Valley Community Band play their spring concert, which was filled with Irish and Scottish music, and featured the Alma College Pipe Band.
You don’t get to hear a pipe band every day, and since my sister also plays bagpipes this was a very special concert as well. The community band was so fun to listen to and when you add in bagpipes, well, it was spectacular!
I was thinking as I looked at the crowd almost filling the gym bleachers and seated in rows of folding chairs down on the gym floor, that it was pretty cool to see a community come out in such numbers to support their local musicians.
And I wished that every community band or orchestra, every community theater group, every group of artists putting together a show would have such support. It’s a win/win for the artists and their communities. Everyone leaves smiling, no matter the venue, no matter what type of art.
Please go google the words community band, or community orchestra or community theater in your town. Odds are you have one near by. They’ll have a website and you can probably find their spring concert or their spring production, or their spring art installation.
Mark your calendar and then show up. You’d be amazed at the talent all around you.
And they’ll be thrilled to have more people there, enjoying their work and applauding.
Don’t see how you could go wrong.