Last night on a last minute wim we headed out to the Port Dalhousie Henley Park Band Stand to hear the Jimmy Stahl Big Band concert. What a perfect evening.
The weather was just beautiful – the kind of evening where the sky was blue and the humidity was low – but the temperature was warm. The bandstand sits and overlooks the water. As we listened to an evening of upbeat big band standards we watched the rowing team in the background and witnessed the fish jumping in and out of the water – as if they were dancing to the music.
Port Dalhousie is one of those small towns where the older homes have great charm with the picket fence porches and the overflowing flower pots and the house lights that look like lanterns. This small town has the charm without the tourists – the kind of town that you would like to call your own- the kind of place that you always say you would like to retire.
As I sat and listened to creative arrangements of the old standards – I was amazed at the caliber of the musicians. In fact all of the 5 trumpet players were lead trumpeters – amazing skill – fantastic talent. I pondered on the fact that such talent would come together to give a first class concert in a band shell in small town Port Dalhousie. It would seem talent like this should be only heard in great concert halls where the ticket price matched the caliber of the show.
Having grown up in a family where music was a priority and musical skills were “drilled” into each of us I know first hand the necessary skill required and the countless hours of practice needed to achieve even a small amount of expertise in the music field. I understand that practice does make perfect, but talent goes a long way in perfecting a performance level achievement. And along with practice and talent, opportunity is perhaps the greatest door for a musician to see their abilities able to translate into fiscally viable profession.
As I sat and listened to this first rate band, I realized that the band members were creating music because of their passion for music – and even this relatively small audience in Port Dalhousie who were blessed with this fantastic concert – even such a small audience was enough for these musicians to say it was worth it.
And that is the beauty of music!
It is as much for the creator’s enjoyment as it is for the listening ear. Music moves us – and for those of us who have been blessed with an upbringing that honoured the teaching of music skills, and for those who have been blessed with even a small amount of skill and talent, we all know that creating music is cathartic and allows for an expression of deep inner feelings. I will be forever grateful to my parents for instilling in me this ability to express myself through music.
And as I relive the memory of the simple concert on the water last night, I picture the rowers who always stopped for just a minute by the bandstand to listen – I will picture the sun setting over the water, the fish jumping silently and creating ripples, and I will remember the joy in my being as the music lifted me and created that need to dance – even if I only danced in my spirit.
I am so thankful to my Creator for gifting us with music – and I am thankful to my own heritage for honouring this gift and teaching me the value of musical expression and understanding!
The gift of music is a beautiful gift!