I get to see many, many performing arts programs. Band concerts, orchestra concerts, marching bands in parades, recitals, choral concerts, plays, musicals, spoken word/poetry events, rock concerts, folk concerts…. you get the point. I see a lot of programs.
More than a week has passed for the first item, but it was a fantastic piano recital given by Eugene Albulescu. It was presented by the L’ARCHET Concert Group in the concert hall at East Stroudsburg University. I know Eugene most in his conducting work. It is such a delight to hear him perform rich Romantic era piano repertoire; and share some interesting tid bits of insights between pieces. It was a change of pace that also included a solo, quiet drive. Perfect Sunday afternoon.
Middle School Music Programs
Nitschmann Jazz Fest happened last Friday. It’s the third of three separate programs where middle school jazz bands from the area come together for a full night of performing for audiences and judges. It’s great for kids to hear other schools, and to spot fellow students who inspire/motivate them to practice a little bit harder.
I was able to sit next to a fellow musician/parent who attended all three programs this year. It was good to chat about what we see in the various schools, and what our kids are learning by participating.
Tonight was the All-City Choral Concert featuring all four middle school choirs. After only a few Saturday morning rehearsals with all kids together, they sounded so well blended. A delightful mix of musical styles and languages, each piece was introduced by a student. Soloists and directors from each school were recognized in the program. There was one piece were all the choral directors sang themselves.
The program lasted just an hour. But that hour re-affirmed my affection for middle school teachers who instill a passion for singing in awkward teenagers. You can see them open their hearts to take in the pride we all had for them. Our hearts were open to receive their joy.
It is these programs that showcase how a community honors the kids developing into sensitive human beings. A college friend describes music as a birthright for all children. I think of all of the musical moments when our kids were babies. How music is a part of their social life and how they are discovering who they are through the various musical experiences.
I’m grateful we live in a community with a public school system that understands the value of these programs. Even more, I have eternal respect for musical directors who keep the bar high for the kids in their program. They establish the foundation of quality people, who are the future.