In the midst of all the chaos and anger in the world right now, my mom and I were able to sit back and listen to over one hundred seventh and eighth graders learn from an amazing conductor.
I dropped Alyssa and her friend Tessa off at the school at 6:15 yesterday morning where they boarded a school bus (a small one because there were only seven kids and a teacher) that took them to Bowling Green, Ohio where they participated in a middle school honor band.
Later in the day, (after a conference with Olivia’s teacher, which deserves a post all its own) my mom and I drove to Bowling Green State University to join Alyssa and her friends.
We were lucky enough to get to sit in on some of the rehearsal so we got to see the conductor who was working with Alyssa’s group of kids. He was so great about engaging these kids. He listened to them, he made sure they were listening to him and he told relevant stories that made them realize how lucky they truly are to be doing what they were doing where they were doing it.
It was a very long day for all the kids. They got to BGSU at 8am, got their band assignments (there were three bands with about 100 kids in each, all seventh and eighth graders) and their music. Then they started practicing and with just a couple of breaks for lunch and dinner, they practiced their hearts out until the 7pm concert.
And that concert was amazing. Alyssa’s group learned four pieces of music and they sounded awesome.
I think the fact that we got to hear some of the rehearsal made the concert that much better for me and my mom. We knew how far they’d come and we knew how much the conductor pulled out of them.
I am so grateful to Alyssa’s school for giving her this opportunity. I’m so grateful to Bowling Green State University for hosting this event and I’m so, so proud of my girl who worked so hard, who made new friends and pushed herself harder than she thought she could.
She was very tired when it was all over but I could tell she’d had a blast. She loves music and she loves the fact that she can make music. Her conductor told the group, “Don’t just go out and make music. Make good music.”
I think that’s pretty awesome advice. If you can make music, make good music.