Monday, November 24, 2014

Come and Play 2014

Our conductor Keitro Harada

Grandson and I in the 700 member orchestra

view from the bleachers

view from rear 
Every year about this time the Richmond Symphony sponsors a huge symphonic enterprise called "Come and Play".  This was the 8th year.  With over 700 musicians it needs lots of space and the basketball stadium on the VCU campus works well. For Devin and I this is our 3rd year and I was glad that there were a few others from his middle school playing in the orchestra. Our conductor was the new assistant conductor of the Richmond Symphony, Keitro Harada. He worked rapidly and efficiently in the two hour rehearsal. Was it a finished product, no! But was it a success to let musicians at all levels a peek into the world of symphony orchestra rehearsing and performance? A resounding yes! The fact that it continues to grow year by year attests to its effectiveness.

I was just two years older than my grandson when I first became a member of the Roanoke Symphony and it opened a door that I have been ever grateful for. It occurred when I was on the cusp of dropping out of serious musical study. It drew me back in and provided the incentive that would
provide the connections and skills that were the underpinnings of a career in music.

The ability to perform on an instrument at near professional level provides unique life experiences not available to most people. Properly used it affords deep friendships and contacts with other highly motivated and artistic musical talents. I wouldn't change one iota of the life I've been privileged to live as a teaching/working string musician. There is always the temptation to play a little god with our children, grandchildren and students. Though I pushed hard and provided the best I knew each has to find their own way.

The music we performed was a good mix of  traditional and new music. The book ends of the program were Greig's, "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and Anderson's " Sleigh Ride". It was a most satisfying concert.