A Moment of Gratitude

“This will be our reply to violence:
to make music more intensely,
more beautifully,
more devotedly than ever before.”
― Leonard Bernstein

As I warmed up for rehearsal this evening and looked out into the beautiful Jemison Concert Hall of the Alys Stephens Center, I felt a wave of gratitude wash over me. How lucky I am to get to play with this wonderful orchestra, playing great music in such a superb hall? How many people get to do what they truly love every single day? Maybe I am especially grateful for this reminder of the power of the arts in my life because of all the ugliness filling the airwaves- and the possibility that the National Endowment for the Arts is on the chopping block, along with several other programs like it that support the best of who we are as a people. 

Tonight I let go of my fears for the future and just let the music take me to a place only it has the power to do. We were playing Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3, also called The Great American Symphony. In this masterpiece, Copland captures the expansiveness, the hope and rawness of a very young America. The music reminded me that our relatively young country is still full of passion and exuberance, still full of good-hearted people who want what is best for our country- people on all sides of the political spectrum. 

Sitting in the middle of the orchestra, in the middle of the swirling music, is a feeling like no other. And tonight- even if just for tonight- nothing existed but the powerful music and a beautiful moment of gratitude. A reminder to be grateful for the many gifts in my life, large and small. A reminder that I can be a part of healing divides with the balm of music. 

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