My Home in Music

July 2, 2013
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The orchestra burst into laughter. I was grinning and looking around the room at my peers’ faces. Our conductor, one of the best in the country, had just cracked a joke at which other kids I know would roll their eyes. Everyone there thought it was hilarious. I was in a room packed with astute and gracious teenagers who had a passion for classical music. In other words, I was in heaven.

Every Saturday I drove for a total of four hours to play in this youth symphony. It is one of the best in the country. Our conductor said that even though we were kids, he expected the same quality from us as he did from professionals. When I was in rehearsal, I felt free, understood, and welcomed. Everyone was alive and motivated.

It is summer now, and youth symphony will start up again next school year. Other kids I know are hanging out with friends at the skate park and sitting on picnic tables. I am typing on my laptop, remembering those great Saturdays, and trying to convince myself with lists of fond memories that I had, in fact, actually been there.

I knew that a summer without youth symphony would be tough. I am constantly craving that sweet feeling that I get in rehearsal, and unfortunately all of those kids who sat in that room with me live hours away. I close my eyes, trying to sooth my burning longing, remembering the glorious recitals.

The stage was hot with bright lights. I melted into my surroundings. I loved everyone on that stage, even if I didn't know their name. We were playing complicated, rich, vibrant music, and we were playing it well. The whole violin section was moving together with our bows and the swaying rhythm. The trumpets were blasting out their solo in the finale. Our conductor was smiling as we successfully reached the end of the piece. The final notes rang out. As the music faded away it mingled with an appreciative silence. Then the audience cheered. I wanted to cry, laugh, hug everybody on that stage, and play the entire concert over again.

I was born for this experience. This group of brilliant, energetic musicians is where I find my true home. Dwelling in the effervescent music, I am most alive.

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