To my fellow members of the 2009 NYOC (Benoit, Pamela, Daniel, Wei, Xin, Danielle, Ellie, Dean, Carol, Ariel, Teresa, Howard, Meiying, Molly, Charna, Ruza, Eslin, Emilie-Anne, Christina, Jeremy, Angela, Brennan, Sarah, Christine, Luke, Heather, Eric, Ryan, Valérie, Ye Jin, Joe, Liz, Katie, Arthur, Sunmock, Thomas, Marcus, Vincent, Eli, Hannah, Liz, Ramsay, Evan, Chadd, Kathleen, Blackman, Dylan, Alex, Erin, Charles, Caroline, Solway, Sarah, Chris, Kaili, Jeff, James, Gwen, Andréanne, Danielle, Lindsay, Eric, Josh, Kate, Colin, Roxanne, Peter, Marc, Eric, Matt, Rebecca, Krista, Mikhailo, Marie-Sonja, Beth, Marina, Mindy, Julie, Tizz, Curtis, Alexis, Duncan, Stephanie, Tim, Bob, Steve, Madeleine, Chris, Tristan, Nelson, Chad, Michelle, Catherine, Da Boyz, Toczko, Merrissa and Alex):
I miss you!! Now that I have settled into my new house in Oklahoma City I have had some time to reflect on this past summer. This was certainly the best of the three years I have been involved with the orchestra. The repertoire was amazing and the talent of all of you continued to blow me away. And Alain? His love and passion for music was easy to see through the kid in him, wasn't it? His interaction with us bonded the orchestra into a family in a way that I have never seen. We all wanted to do our best for him and for the person sitting beside us. What an incredible setting to be a part of.
All of this being said, none of this could have been as amazing and as fun as it was without all of you. Like I said, I was able to feel the passion for music each and every time that I talked to you or that we played together. It was your attention to detail that made us sound so good. Music is an art form through which we change people's lives and you all have changed me in ways that we will never forget. Whether it was over a meal in Delaware Hall, a sectional together, a conversation on a bus ride, walking around downtown (*insert large Canadian city*) or playing together on one of our country's biggest stages, I will not let go of the experiences I've had with each of you nor the friends I've made.
You see, I have come to really think lately about why it is that I play music. I believe I found the answer....
Time for a story.....
Once upon a time there was man by the name of Saul. The Spirit of God left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by God settled on him. He was terrified.
Saul's advisors said, "This awful tormenting depression from God is making your life miserable. Master, let us help. Let us look for someone who can play the harp. When the black mood from God moves in, he'll play his music and you'll feel better."
Saul told his servants, "Go ahead. Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me."
One of the young men spoke up, "I know someone. I've seen him myself: the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, an excellent musician. He's also courageous, of age, well-spoken, and good-looking. And God is with him."
So Saul sent messengers to Jesse requesting, "Send your son David to me, the one who tends the sheep."
Jesse took a donkey, loaded it with a couple of loaves of bread, a flask of wine, and a young goat, and sent his son David with it to Saul. David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him immediately and made him his right-hand man.
Saul sent word back to Jesse: "Thank you. David will stay here. He's just the one I was looking for. I'm very impressed by him."
After that, whenever the bad depression from God tormented Saul, David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted. -1 Samuel 16:14-23
You see friends...we play music because it can change people. It can comfort them, heal them and bring them peace. So if you ever find yourself struggling and frustrated with the fact that you care about music more than your fellow students. If you ever begin to be frustrated with the repetitiveness of practicing the same excerpt over and over again. If you ever think you aren't accomplishing anything by what you do....it matters. What we do....it matters. We are so lucky to be gifted and we need to change this world with our song. We are also so lucky to be able to choose to study music. So many people in this world long for the freedom and ability that we have. Take good care of it.....and play because you LOVE to play.
Another brief story...
I found out yesterday that I am not in the orchestra at school this semester. Instead, I am principal of the Wind Philharmonic. This was a big blow to me. I struggled much of the day trying to cope with how I am going to deal with this fall. But I have come to realize that by not playing in that ensemble I am able to hold on to my experience with the NYOC. I am not going to be frustrated by playing in an orchestral ensemble that is of a lesser caliber. You see, my family tells me that I light up in the summer time and that playing in an orchestra is truly where I love to be. It was this summer that I finally came to the realization that I want to win a job no matter what it takes. I thank you all for this. You've already impacted me with what your music this past summer. I know that I may have never figured this out had we all not played together and been brought together the way we did. I want this so badly and you have all taught me what it means to care about something so much that I am going to work as hard as I can to earn it.
I can't wait to hear the disc. I can't wait to see you all again. I can't wait to see if I'll be back. I miss it so much. I miss all of YOU so much! Thank you. For everything that you've done.....every single little thing......thank you. It means so much.
With love and thanks,