Quote of the Day: Music replays the past memories, awakens forgotten worlds, and makes our minds travel. Michael Bassey Johnson
To start off my weekend, I was in Minneapolis, MN for the Minnesota Music Educators Association convention. I was there as a proud parent. On Friday afternoon, our Wind Symphony Band, under the dedicated and tremendous direction of Chris Fogderud, played as the featured band. They were wonderful. Two of my boys played with this band. I had goosebumps, proud smiles, tears in my eyes, and clicking shutters (after the performance) for all those kids, their hard work, and their marvelous instructor. We are so fortunate to have Mr. Fogderud here in the Brainerd School System. My #1 piano student Marissa also played in the band (flute), and several of my boys’ friends who have spent so many hours at my house that we affectionately refer to them as “The Other Rude Boys.”
On Saturday morning, my boy Zach performed in the Men’s All-State Choir. The Women’s All-State Choir sang first. Their performance was so powerful and emotional that I had tears streaming down my face. There was no stopping them as their voices joined in an angel chorus. The second song was even about angels. They also did one where they were in four groups and called out like tribal women. In their final number, a spiritual, they sang about a grave not being big enough to keep them down. All the emotions of being a mom and launching my kids off into the world began to sweep over me. I also thought of my students, like Marissa, who will soon leave my bench forever, and the young ladies singing in front of me, showing their strength and beauty, singing of not be repressed, instead they were empowered by their gifts. Wow. Then, the Men’s Choir entered, and I couldn’t take my eyes off my own son, standing amongst the most talented singers in the state. I wished that I had sat on the audience left because that was where he was, and then I could have sneaked a picture of him singing with the four young men who had the solo part for Victimae. They sang an Inuit piece that was song and rhythm, story and power that included a lullaby, a goose chant, and a war cry. Again, wow. The performance concluded with the mixed choir, and by then, I was emotionally spent.
The past two days were a physically exhausting and emotionally draining experience. Driving to the metro, alone, finding my hotel, and parking! I ended up using valet parking because I couldn’t find a spot. I had to miss a performance at The Jungle Theater on Friday because of the traffic and impossible parking. (I lost my infatuation of the city at that point.) Feelings of being both with a crowd and alone, and being overwhelmed by all the emotions a parent feels in these moments. And, it’s not over, yet. Today, we will go to Moorhead for a big family party, celebrating the birth of a new baby, and birthdays for my sister and dad. Then, Zach will check into Concordia College to interact with the choir and other students and staff and audition for a music scholarship (send your good vibes and prayers)!
Life is quite a journey. I hope yours is at a high point right now, but if not, know that it will get better, and that you are surrounded by love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: When have you had an overwhelming experience as a parent, teacher, or child?