Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach, German-Jewish poet and author
We’re midway through the season for Community Band now, and I find myself pondering its attraction.
More and more people turn up every week to listen to our concerts in the park. Some are on walkers or oxygen; some bring their dogs; some choose to sit in their cars. Little kids run around playing tag or catching fireflies.
All profess to enjoy the sound.
And why not?
Every week, as the size of our audience grows, the number of area musicians who join us increases, too.
We’re about a hundred strong now.
And every week the range of music deepens, from traditional marches to spiritual hymns to patriotic tunes to pop and rock favorites.
We rehearse for an hour and a half (!) one day a week; our performance lasts another hour or so on a different day.
My logical brain tells me this is impossible. You can’t learn 10 songs by glancing over them and playing them through one time.
Yet we’re doing it.
I look at our group and marvel at how many would be considered “old.”
Gray hair, glasses, stooped bodies, paunches in the middle.
But they’re a long way from being washed up.
When our director whips out her baton, we sit up straighter. Focus harder. And somehow manage to produce a sound that at times takes your breath away.
Nobody has to be here. We don’t get paid, and there are any number of other things we could be doing.
But playing in Community Band is one of my Bucket List items, and I can’t imagine not participating.
I might be the least-experienced player in the band. I’ve only been playing flute for two years; even our high schoolers have five-plus years beneath their belts.
But nobody seems to mind. There are no criticisms, no “mean girls” making snide remarks, no singling out over a wrong note or rhythm.
Nobody’s judging me for not knowing the last few of the highest notes on my instrument. Or all the alternate keys or trills. For not catching EVERY note in a run.
Instead, I see genuine smiles, lots of camaraderie, sharing tips and tricks.
For in the end, music elevates us from everyday drudgery and lets us catch a glimpse of heaven.