So what do you do when you’re sitting out on the deck enjoying a lovely evening and suddenly you realize that the Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra concert starts in 17 minutes and you live at least 15 minutes away?
You jump up, shout, “The Concert!” Yell for your daughters to change their clothes, grab your purse, and step on the gas.
We were late. We missed the Star Spangled Banner entirely and we had to listen to Finlandia through the doors. But then we snuck in during the applause, found some seats on the side, and settled down in time for the fantastic performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor which I have loved all my life.
Even through the doors I thought that the orchestra sounded better than I’ve ever heard them, and sitting there in our seats, listening to Joan Mork playing such marvelous piano music along with the orchestra in full form, I was enthralled.
I don’t have a drop of Scandinavian blood in me (that I’m aware of) but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the Scandinavian-themed concert. (Perhaps my Scottish blood counts for a sort of northern European connection?) I have always loved Grieg and used to imagine trolls tromping around banging things with wooden clubs as I listened to In the Hall of the Mountain King on CBC Radio – the Canadian Broadcasting Company station that was the only station my parents listened to (other than tuning in to Paul Harvey over lunchtime) back on Orcas Island.
That classical station enabled me to pass an entire year of music in college without ever having to crack open the cassettes that came with the textbook. (Cassettes! How old am I, anyway?!)
My parents made sure that, even in such a small town, my classical music education was complete. The Seattle Symphony used to come up to Orcas Island once a year and perform in the school gym. They would set up right there on the floor of the gym – over 100 members of the symphony orchestra with harps, kettle drums, a gong (all the things that kids found so very cool) – and it was amazing and inspiriting to sit and listen to them, even in uncomfortable folding chairs. I remember they played Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume and beat of the music, played just a few feet away from me. I love that piece of music to this day.
It is my hope that my daughters will remember Grieg with such fondness.
Truly, I believe that the Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra sounded fantastic. I love live music and hearing the entire 50+ member orchestra fill the auditorium with such marvelous music was the perfect way to spend the evening.
Even better than sitting out on my deck.