Church Music

“Dad, but what time will we be home?” It was David.

“I’ve no idea…when they’re done playing I guess. Why are you so worried about what time we’ll be home?”

“Well, I want to try to get to bed a little earlier tonight.”

I stared at him, incredulous. This was the same kid who recently boasted that he’d “beaten his record” for sleeping in.

I was trying to convince the kids to join me for a classical music concert last night at one of the local churches. It was a great opportunity to hear a world class chamber orchestra up close and personal, the Cologne New Philharmonic.

To my surprise four of them opted to come, including David.

“Dad, what are they going to play?” they asked me as we walked over.

“I don’t know, some classical music probably.”

I’m not sure if they were expecting a violin performance of Girls Aloud or Britney Spears.

They were however excited about an evening out and I was pleased to have them with me.

It really was a good concert. I’m not much on “weeping violins” but this was really special. The kids chose a front row seat and seemed eager to meet the performers. And, they were good, definitely worth seeing. The group of three violins, viola, cello, bass, and harpsichord performed Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, some Bach and Mozart as well as Jules Massenet’s Meditation on Thäis, one I’d done myself on the flute some months previously.

“Dad, didn’t you play that one?”

“Yes I did,” I said proudly.

At intermission CDs of the group’s recordings were being sold. I was tempted, especially when Jessie enthusiastically asked for the Four Seasons.

I was already feeling a bit pinched at the price of the tickets and was reasonably sure we already had Vivaldi’s recording at home, so I demurred.

However, I asked the other kids, “Do you guys want me to buy a CD?”

Benjamin answered coyly, “No, I think once was enough.” Spoken like a true patron of the arts.

At the close the performance featured an oboe player, a new instrument for the kids.

“Daddy, his face is getting all red,” Jessie said, looking concerned.

“I know, that’s OK,” trying to reassure her that the guy was not going to injure himself in the effort.

On the way home they all seemed to have enjoyed the concert. Good news considering they are daily immersed in a world of pop music. I doubt that any of their friends are subjected to classical music as they’d just been. They were the only kids at the show.

“Jessie, did you like the music?”

“Yes,” she said, genuinely enthusiastic. “I especially liked the hobo player.”

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