Thursday, March 17, 2005

A Night Full of Music

Last Friday evening found our family in high excitement as we headed up to Lapeer to attend the performances of the Lapeer Civic Philharmonic, and the Lapeer Civic Orchestra. The front lobby of The PIX, was packed with the expectant family and friends of orchestra members for a quarter of an hour before the doors were opened. The space was limited but the atmosphere happy and full of anticipation, and we just squeezed in tighter as each new person slipped in out of the chilly March air.

Finally! the doors open and we all filter through, making our way down the slightly declining floor into the row of our choice and slipping into a cushioned seat. They are those bouncy fold up chairs, the kind where little children have to sit on the edge, or they will find themselves sitting in an uncomfortable 'V' shape. (especially if the seats have extra tight springs:-) Here and there, people were flipping through their programs, commenting on the musical repertoire, recognizing composers and trying to recall how "that one piece goes."

And here comes the Lapeer Civic Philharmonic! Filing out onto the stage amid welcoming plaudits, and making their way to their respective seats. Next, the Concert Mistress (Miss Sarah DeLadurantey) issues forth and gives the tuning note for all to echo. Now! enter Maestro DeLadurantey, our conductor for the evening, who, after acknowledging the audiences' applause, gave a few words of welcome and introduction. "All glory goes to GOD!" How wonderful and appropriate that the Author and Creator of everything, (the gift of music especially) should be given His due recognition and honor! So many people tend to take for granted their achievements and abilities, but the Lapeer Civic Orchestras' know from Whom their talents come, and are not ashamed to acknowledge Him.

On to the music! The first piece of the night was a charmingly descriptive suite by Jay Pinner. Downtown Suite for Strings consisted of three movements; The Library, complete with warning sshhh's from the musicians as the music tiptoed throughout the hall, The Park, where we enjoyed a gentle ride on a park swing, and Main Street, a busy, industrious affair, which included Police whistles and sharp horn honks from impatient motorists.

Following that delightful little work, we enjoyed a rousing medley which was made up of music by Beethoven, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky. The 5th Symphony, New World Symphony, and 1812 Overture, respectively. Then amid appreciative cheers, the Philharmonic left the stage, making way for the Orchestra.

The first piece we heard from them was Gustav Holst's Song Without Words. A lovely work, in great contrast to the next composition, the rousing Hungarian Dance by Johannes Brahms, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Next came two works that quite rivaled each other with their captivating and inspiring characteristics. (but in my mind, one clearly came out the champion) The works in question were the gorgeous Pavane by Gabriel Faure, and a stunningly brilliant performance of Vivaldi's sumptuous Concerto in D Major for Guitar and Strings. No offense to Faure, but Vivaldi quite outdid him that night, with the help of a remarkable classical guitarist named David Wagner. Poised on the conductor's platform in the midst of the stage, and surrounded by a small, yet, equally talented ensemble, he so delighted the audience that they quite forget the customary orchestral scruples and applauded at the end of the first and second movements, and many in the crowd showed their appreciation at the end with a standing ovation.

Well! How could anything improve after that? But it did, and in a very energetic way. The final work of the night was the fun, fast and fantastic, Overture from the Barber of Seville. What a jolly piece of music! Its lively little theme is still singing inside my head even as I write this. A superb ending for an equally superb evening! The Orchestra members and Conductor DeLadurantey, arose and bowed, acknowledging the audiences applause, and then . . . they gave us a little encore! A vigorous, hand-clapping recap of the Hungarian Dance, which closed the night in high spirits.

After some chatting and congratulations, we left to start the long drive home. Weary but happy, we hummed bits of the beautiful strains of music that flitted through our heads. And the night was full of Music.