Monday, June 8, 2009

Musical Middle Child

Our middle son is a musician.

His talent was discovered kind of by accident.

I've always taken our kids to the free concerts performed by our local orchestra. When Seth was about seven years old he sat in the concert hall balcony captivated by the music. Afterwards, he leaned over the railing and said..."I want to play that! I want to play the violin."

Um. Sure. Okay.

This from my kid who was all over the map with his interests and activities. But he was so insistent, we rented a violin and found a teacher.

It was like he was born with a fiddle in his hand. He learned quickly and progressed rapidly.
I've always wondered what would have happened if we had never taken him to orchestra concerts?
Would the musical talent have erupted anyway?

Here he is winning his first church conference talent show at nine years old.
Thank goodness he now puts more effort into his performance attire.
He brought down the house with his rip-roaring fiddle tunes.

At thirteen he performed a concert with the orchestra that inspired him.
He continued to play in this orchestra and several others through high school.
For his senior swan song, he performed a Viotti concerto with this orchestra.

When he was fifteen he traveled with Portland's Metropolitan Youth Symphony to Europe for a concert tour in Austria and Italy. I had the privilege of going along as a chaperon.

This photo is the rehearsal at Monetecatini Terme. The concert was performed that evening under the starry Italian sky.

I sat at a little table to the side listening to them play my favorite piece- Greig's Peer Gynt- and sipping a cappuccino prepared by a handsome Italian bar tender.

In Italy.

Or maybe I dreamed it?

Really, my kid brought me there.

Okay, Seth, I forgive you for all the sleepless nights, gray hairs and adrenal fatigue that mothering you for the last nineteen years may have caused.

After years of classical training, concertos, orchestras, recitals and concerts, and dabbling in piano, organ, guitar, cello and mandolin, he started hanging out with non-classical musicians and trying on some new styles.

Here he is entertaining us at his homeschool graduation party with some contemporary tunes.

Seth has been attending the local community college on a full music scholarship and expanding his musical horizons. As the sound technician for the college's jazz ensemble, he's been spending some time at jazz venues.

Last weekend the jazz group played a gig at a local bar/restaurant.
(This is the back of the sign.)

As usual he was going to run the sound but they also gave him a spot in the set to play a tune.
Though mom is not accustomed to midnight bar concerts, I haven't heard Seth play in so long, I was desperate to hear him.

I couldn't help looking at these college musicians and thinking about how just yesterday they were little kids getting dragged around to recitals by Mom and Dad. They seemed just on the threshold between childhood and eternal horizons of possibilities.
These youngsters were mighty talented.

They make their mamas proud.

(I apologize for the poor lighting quality of this video but it was a dimly lit bar after all!)

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