If I were to begin life again, I would devote it to music. It is the only cheap and unpunished rapture upon earth. ~Sydney Smith, Anglican cleric
Our symphonic band concert is this weekend.
We’ve worked hard — some harder than others! — and we’re ready to share our talents.
It promises to be an out-of-this-world performance — our theme is “outer space.”
This time, our director is trying something new, the addition of audio-visual aids, in the hope our audience will get more out of the experience.
Gone are the days when people listened with their ears to a spoken topic on a radio. Now everything — from the teacher in the classroom to the preacher in the pulpit to the concert band on the stage — requires special effects for visual stimulation.
I think over time, we’ve all become more visual, don’t you?
Anyway, despite the relative newness of this approach, we’re not pioneers. Even major symphonies have found that listening with the eye results in a greater appreciation of the sound.
When we started working together last month, we learned this concert is a tribute to the 50th(!!) anniversary of the lunar landing. We’ll have an immense screen behind our band on stage, and a crew has been working zealously to time the “show” with what we’re playing.
One piece, Lullaby to the Moon, will feature ooh-and-aah-worthy photos of full moons over cities, rivers, mountains, and so on.
We’ll also do One Giant Leap, with news clips of a young President Kennedy urging the U.S. to send a man to the moon, of Walter Cronkite detailing the landing of Apollo 11, of Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin walking on the moon’s surface, planting the Flag, and saluting it.
Fascinating how one piece has brought the generations together, as those who watched the 1969 landing reminisced for the young’uns who only got to study about it in history class!
Another of our pieces is Space and Beyond, with the theme from 2001: A Space Odessy, bits of Gustav Holst’s Mars, the theme from Star Trek The Motion Picture, and highlights from the motion picture Star Wars.
I still get nervous playing in public, but being part of a group is way easier than performing solo — wish us luck!
Note: The links are NOT us (sorry, but they don’t let us be recorded or photographed!)