Last week the MSU Harp Studio went to a senior home and gave a short recital. We’ve played there before in the past, and it was a swell time returning this semester to share some different music with the residents. As an added bonus, it’s nice to have a shot at performing our pieces for an audience right before we have juries at the beginning of finals week.
Even better, I also performed one of my John Denver pieces, and it’s fantastic to play his music for an audience who actually knows who he is! Afterwards, a woman came up to me and thanked me for playing a work by John. “I just love him. There was even a PBS special about him on tv last night. It was my second time watching it. I’ve been wanting some of the performers who come here to play some John Denver music for a while.” We proceeded to discuss our favorite John Denver songs, which ones I like to play for weddings and gigs, and how great the stories behind his songs are. You meet new friends and acquaintances in all sorts of places, and music does a lot to help bring people together!
My encounter with the woman at the senior home got me thinking about all the connections I have made over the past several years because of my involvement in music. My best friends in high school were people I met through orchestra, one of the most influential adults in my life besides my parents was my harp instructor, and now at college the people I spend every waking moment with are mostly musicians.
I’m especially grateful for my wonderful harp family here at MSU. Freshman year would have been rough without them, and now they make sophomore year that much more amazing. I can’t thank them enough for putting up with my freak-out sessions, (consisting mostly of me yelling at myself and banging my head on a table) my monologues about the Muppets, or my begging them to make our harp gatherings take place at McDonald’s. It’s great to have some people to call on to have them come listen to you practice performing, to listen to your rant about a crappy rehearsal, or to even to drive you to performances. (Thanks, Alisa!) Every time I get a chance to perform with one of them, I have a great experience. They are a group of awesome people and fabulous musicians, and I’m lucky to be a part of such an amazing studio. Prof Chen-Yu, Alisa, Emily, and Belle, you guys are the best!