Our spring concert has come and gone. It is strange to realize that my Sunday afternoons will be free for the rest of the school year. Even stranger, the heavy feeling of finality that hung over this concert weekend. This concert was especially unique, adding an extra spark that helped us focus and appreciate our music like never before.
The first half of the concert felt smooth. Mr. Peters’ piece was energetic and the collaborative pieces with the VYO chorus were beautiful and delicate. The second half of the concert was even better. Sometimes, the orchestra struggles after an intermission because of physical and mental fatigue, but on Sunday, our focus level remained high and we delivered a performance of which we could be proud.
In my opinion, the last piece on the program, An American in Paris, was better than ever. Our enjoyment of the piece came through with an electric intensity. This is not to say that our playing was entirely free of mistakes, but it was so full of passion! Playing An American in Paris demonstrated to me the sheer power of music. Live music is a gift. When performers and listeners connect with the heart of a piece, it captivates and leaves one thirsty for more. This kind of magic gave many of us chills as we played the final notes of Copland’s beautiful music.
The poignancy of the moment was amplified by the knowledge that this would be our last “regular” concert with the VYO. Mr. Peters will be moving to Texas later this year and along with the other seniors, I will graduate soon. I reflect on these changes with a mixture of sadness, gratitude for the past and excitement for the future. Playing with the VYO has been such a significant part of my life for the last two years that I can’t believe my time is already ending.
Fortunately, most of us can still look forward to playing together again at our Tour Kickoff concert on July 3rd and to our exciting tour. If our spring concert was any indication, our summer performances in Vermont, Québec and France will be magnifique!
—April Burbank (Photo: David Yandell)