This weekend I missed a special event we’ve attended for the last seven years – the All-State Music Festival.
Our three kids are musicians. Oldest Sister, a violist, was chosen for the all-state orchestra all three years of her high school eligibility. Middle Sister and The Boy were both selected for the all-state choir during each of their three years of high school eligibility. Being a “three-year” is not only an enormous honor; the experience was absolutely formative for all of them. To work with world-renowned clinicians, to produce music with other students as dedicated as they were, to be completely immersed in their craft for three days – it was a priceless life event for all of them.
The same goes for The Husband and me. Not only were we button-bursting proud of our three musicians, but the level of the performances made the festival groups something to look forward to all year long.
But this year we’re fresh out of high school students at our house.
I had planned to go to the festival with my brother- and sister-in-law to hear my nephew, a top percussionist, in the all-state band group. But events conspired against that plan. So for the first time in many years, we were without that weekend of beautiful music.
But The Boy was able to go, and he texted and phoned me with updates all weekend. He’s now studying vocal music education as a freshman in the university that just happens to be in the city where the festival takes place. As part of his studies, he was given a pass to attend workshops and all concerts at the festival.
By all accounts The Boy was floating on air all three days. He hung out with two of his most important music mentors – his middle school and high school directors – attending concerts with them and discussing conducting techniques. He met again and visited with a great hero of choral conducting with whom he’s studied in the past – a world-famous vocal music professor who lives near us. He is reported to have said (I got this through his aunt) that even if he were one day to sing at Carnegie Hall, it wouldn’t match his life dream of one day conducting state honor choirs as a clinician.
Even though I missed it, it’s nice to know the music goes on. And even better to know that our son will make it his life’s work to be a part of it.