Monday, April 19, 2010

A Day at the Symphony

I have a confession to make . . . . .
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sometimes, I am *gulp* . . . . .
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WRONG!
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Hard to believe, right?
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Please tell me it's hard to believe. I need to hear that sometimes.
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Five years ago, my daughter came home from school filled with excitement due to an assembly all of the fourth graders took part in. At this assembly, the elementary band director regaled the youngsters with the wonders of playing an instrument, in a very similar manner, I imagine, as Professor Harold Hill would have.
Or maybe not. I wasn't there. I prefer to imagine it that way, though.
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The result of this sales pitch was an extremely enthusiastic nine year old who would expire on the spot if she was not promised band membership in the immediate future. I was skeptical. I had a very brief and mediocre music career in middle school. My parents purchased the instrument, I practiced it wholeheartedly for about, oh, let's say a month, before merely going through the motions for a couple of years. I tried to negotiate with my daughter. Maybe she could stick with choir. No go. Soccer is good, how about you just keep playing soccer. She insistently pressed the "how to lease an instrument from an over-priced place of business for nearly the same price as a semester at college" pamphlet into my hands. With a deep sigh, I asked, "What do you want to play, if we decide to let you join the band? And I'm not saying that you are going to join the band." The answer to that question was a filibuster on the amazing innumerable qualities of the clarinet. My husband and I held her off for 24 hours with a solid "we'll see".
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At church that Sunday, my husband consulted with a retired band director. When we got into the car and pulled out of the parking lot, he mysteriously turned in the wrong direction. "I have a stop to make.", was his only explanation. In very short order, my daughter was clutching a refurbished b flat clarinet, lovingly restored by that retired band director. Two years later, excelling at the b flat clarinet, my daughter was introduced to the bass clarinet at school. They hit it off splendidly and she now plays bass during concerts and b flat during marching band.
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In fact, she and the bass clarinet make such beautiful music together, that after months of practice, they played in a college symphony yesterday afternoon. My daughter was invited to play as a community member. The music was breathtaking. We were so proud. And I was so glad that five years ago, I was wrong about her playing an instrument.

2 comments:

e-Mom said...

Ack... just lost a long comment. :~D

I'm so proud of your daughter. She looks so grown up in her black top. **Applauding**

servantsheart said...

Your daughter is adorable. I am just waiting for my oldest to start wanting to play something. So, far we've been through tap, ballet and a somewhat fleeting interest in playing the guitar. :)

Can't wait to see where she lands.