Let the music play...

"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents."
                                                                                                                                                                                                         ---Ludwig van Beethoven
As I write to you on this cool, bright and beautiful Sunday morning, the inspirational piano sounds of George Winston fill the room. For those of you who are familiar with Winston, or any of the artists who represent Windham Hill, Winston's album, December, is one of my favorites, and I wait all year to dust it off, and ring in this festive month. Winston's soothing sounds can elevate any mood, and while I am a bit weary after a particularly full week, I am already feeling re-charged and ready for the coming "holidaze".

Earlier this week, here at School, I attended the Tri-M Coffee House and spent a wonderful hour watching our creative and talented students showcase their musical talents. Ranging from classical performances to dramatic stage bits, to soulful renditions of pop hits, our students were in fine form. The relaxed, casual atmosphere provided a much needed "breather" to a very stressful week, and I enjoyed it immensely. 
Yesterday afternoon, I also had the privilege to attend our annual Guitar Winter Concert at St. Andrew's Church. In fact, my wife Laura and I arranged for a babysitter, and made a date of our outing. This concert, which has now become a four-year tradition for me, is always a highlight of the school year, and yesterday's concert did not disappoint. Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Corey Harvin, it was yet another great showing by our students, ranging from beginning guitarists in both the 6th and 7th grades, progressing to both Middle School and Intermediate Guitar, and finishing with a beautiful performance of the "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies" by our experienced and talented Guitar Ensemble.  
As a novice pianist, and one who piddles and plinks the ivory, I am very much in awe of the level of talent here at our School, and I am so very grateful for the dedication of both our students and Faculty for these efforts. Thanks to all who lead our students in their musical adventures, and especially to Dr. Harvin, Mrs. Queen, Mr. McFarlane, Mrs. Nicole Avesani, and Mrs. Kristine Rodriguez for their hard work this past month in getting our students ready to perform at such a high level in all of their Winter Concerts. 
Later this week we will join in Community as we hold our Lessons and Carols Service, and again, we will be blessed with the power of music and song as we continue this wonderful Episcopal tradition. Whether it be a casual "drop in" to the Coffee House, a planned recital, or a more formal Chapel service, I continue to be grateful for these opportunities, for as the great singer/songwriter John Denver so astutely noted,
"Music does bring people together...It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics, or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same."
Accordingly, I say, 'Let the music play...', and let's soak in all those good vibrations from what Beethoven referred to as the "electrical soil". Music truly has the power to help, and, as noted author Berthold Auerbach also notes,
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life".
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