Friday, October 25, 2013

Memory Lane Ain't So Bad

In 1988 approximately 50 young from the Soviet Union and 50 young musicians from the US came together at Oberlin College for a week of rehearsals that were followed by a tour of the US and a tour of the Soviet Union. Most of the musicians were college age, and among them was my son, Rick Graef (now Asst. Principal Horn in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra).

We lived in the greater Chicago area at the time, but Chicago was not on the American tour. The closest the orchestra got to Chicago was Brookfield, Wisconsin. I don't know where else they played in the US with the exception of Carnegie Hall in New York City. I will never forget the opening of the Brookfield Concert, which started with Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. I teared up with pride and the awesomeness of the music.

When the American Soviet Youth Orchestra played in New York, the concert was taped and a CD was later made available. Today I moved my little CD player into my knitting studio and started listening to my CDs as I cranked out socks on my circular sock knitting machine. The CD by the ASYO is what prompted this post. Once again, I got emotional, mostly during the performance of Copland's Appalachian Spring. What is it about his music? I know I miss that part of my life. . . performing great music and being part of a all-enveloping blanket of sound.  It was a good life, and I am retired now. I have to remember that. But music - there's just nothing quite like it. Some claim that it is a form of meditation, and I suspect they are correct.

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