So it’s been quite the week.
Mr. C on Monday—the days passed, but the grief still remained. We were united for the week, and hopefully it can last for the year, maybe even for a few years. I never truly realized how incredible of a person he was until I saw the impact he had on everyone. He was the idealistic person on all levels—as a teacher, friend, colleague, father, and community member. I’m living vicariously through stories and words and tears, but I will always remember him as the teacher who changed South Burlington—our own superhero. A Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco in his early years, he had ways of changing the world too. It goes to show that the worst things happen to the best people. But his laugh still reverberates throughout the halls of SB, in our minds, in our hearts—it’s the one thing I distinctly remember, even if I didn’t know him that well.
Later in the week, a student at Rutland passed away as the victim of a tragic drunk driving accident. She was an adept violinist, as well as the concertmistress of her local youth orchestra. Many of her close friends are in the VYO. Yesterday, the VYO had their annual school tour, doubled with a fall concert. As we were primarily in Rutland, the day was dedicated to Carly. At the concert at Castleton State, we sight-read Elgar’s Nimrod from his Enigma Variations in Carly’s honor, a piece that I did not realize was so moving. Elgar has always been my favorite, for the emotion in his work is unparalleled to that of other composers. Nimrod struck me as I played, sending me back into all these thoughts I’ve had this entire week from everything that has happened. At the end of the beautiful movement, our conductor held his baton, his breath, his stance. Not a soul moved. And if I could capture that moment in words, I would. It was one of the most powerful moments I have ever had on stage. Music is emotion, no doubt—but this piece was played with sincere emotion: it was for Carly, for Mr. C, for anyone in our lives who had passed on. It was more a cry releasing itself in the form of Elgar. I’m posting the link—never have I felt so in love with a piece such as this. RIP Carly, RIP Mr. Cannon—two incredible people who have had tremendous impact on their communities.
Yesterday was most definitely the longest day I have had in a while. We started off at 7:30 am at Elley Long, went to Rutland for two school performances, and headed to Castleton State for our fall concert. The day lasted for a solid 16 hours or so. At the Rutland school, we had about two hours of downtime, sowe decided to go to a coffee shop “around the corner.” What-seems-like-hours-later, we walked into some far-off coffee shop (NOT around the corner), drenched from head-to-toe, laughing uncontrollably. “VYO takes Rutvegas by the storm,” “This is a replacement of our Russia tour,” “Don’t get too emotionally attached to the menu, we’re about to leave,” “Rutvegas is kind of nicer than I imagined; I thought there would be like straw huts or something.” So many great moments that remind us how much we love orchestra.
At the school, we had to introduce all the instruments to the kids. As the bassoon player held up her instrument, a wave of “whoa’s” travelled through the elementary-schoolers. They stood on their tip-toes, wide-eyed, struck like cavemen discovering fire. I wish someone would’ve videotaped the moment! Before the concert, as we were warming up, many of the kids were evidently disturbed by our sounds, as they covered their ears and squinted their eyes in pain. I mean, we’re not that bad, are we?
In other news….early this week, I had a short story published on VPR. What’s been exciting about it has been everyone telling me they’ve been hearing my name on the radio—one step closer to larger audiences reading my work!
It’s already October (well on Monday). It seems like just yesterday that I was in Boston for SJWP or sitting in bio in early June. And to think—next comes November, THEN DECEMBER! Holiday season, shopping, cookies, presents, ugly-sweaters-that-are-never-out-of-fashion, Christmas music. The latter never stops for me, though. In fact, I was just listening to Believe by Josh Groban from The Polar Express. It never gets old. Granted, it’s not technically October yet, so I am getting a bit ahead of myself.
9:00 on a Saturday night—I think I’m going to start my homework.
If you’d like to hear some epic music, come to the VYO Fall Concert tomorrow at the Flynn at 3:00! Tickets are sold at the door or online, opening seating, hour-and-a-half, lots of fun—WOO!