Ah, how powerful it is to be “struck with a new chord,” and have one’s passion sparked again! In mid-January, my peers and I at the Las Vegas Academy of the Performing Arts were given the distinct privilege to perform in a dual-concert with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony (AYS) and Youth Philharmonic. At first, it felt like a real drag. Although we weren’t forced to do this performance, and it was put together on a volunteer basis, it did take some of our time and focus. But then, something amazing happened as they performed and put us from LVA in pure awe.
A brief history of the AYS programs; this program has been around since 1955, originally a partnership between University of New Mexico and the Albuquerque Public Schools. Led to grow under the direction of Mr. Dale Kempter, the organization has traveled all over Europe and North America. Today, the organization includes 11 different choral and instrumental ensembles, with the AYS being the premier group. Mr. Kempter has since retired, and the AYS is led by Gabriel Gordon.
Our performance was certainly great pressure the day of the concert. Any musician will tell you there is a completely different feeling when performing for people who are musicians or know what your repertoire should sound like versus, say, an audience of high school students’ parents. They began to play and my peers and I looked at each other in complete surprise.
The conductor displayed passion, yet control. The ensemble showed commitment to every sound. I was so inspired, brought to many moments of chills and even a few brief tears. They WANTED to be there, in that moment, to perform with purpose. I was glad to make acquaintance with a few of these performers and form a friendship with one, motivating me so. From that I was reinvigorated to really do some soul searching; was I ready to commit to that level to create something and subjugate my ego? Was I ready to be a spark to challenge my colleagues to “give more?” And, I had to be honest, and realize I had a lot to learn. Now, I ask you; has someone else ever “shown you up,” and inspired you, and did you do something with it? Ah, what power it is to be sparked by another human spirit.