I had the joy of attending a fabulous afternoon of music at our local Upper Hunter Regional Conservatorium of Music. I live in rural NSW, so our town is not large, but the music was.
It was a great program, and I found myself reflecting on how much music means, and how it connects us all. The afternoon was styled ‘An Afternoon at the Proms’ and the program certainly reflected this.
More than anything, I was struck by the widely varying ages of the orchestra, band, ukelele group, saxophone group, and strings group. There were young children, all the way up to those whose birthdays are receding ever further into the distance. There were several generations of some families involved.
We started out with ‘Saxophony’ and finished with a massed march. Along the way, we visited Queen, musical theatre, classics, and film. It was a great program.
One piece, Nimrod (by Elgar), really hit me. The orchestra played it marvellously, and I found myself thinking about my Dad, who loved playing and singing, and has now been making music in heaven for just over a year. Ten years ago now, Dad and our son, his grandson, were playing in the band for our local production of the Sound of Music. I was Sister Margaretta. (The one who liked Maria!) Three generations of family brought together by music.
Even now, I have so many memories of singing with Dad, and my sister, when we were children, of playing and singing with our kids, and now, my husband (who took up the drums a few years ago) and I, were making music together at church a week ago. My Mum never performed with us, but she has always been able to sing in tune, and I remember during the Sound of Music, buying her a ticket close to the band so that she could watch Dad playing the trombone. (He would have been 80 at the time.)
So, as I listened to Nimrod, and the sounds rolled over me, I may have shed a tear or two – for the music, for the memories, and for the joy that makes the soul sing when many musicians join together.