Houston Pittsburgh, we have had a problem.
Dear readers! Oh, how I’ve missed you! I am so sorry for taking so long to post, but I was the unfortunate recipient of Technological Issues with my blog account this past weekend, which prohibited me from being able to tell you all the juicy details of my hot date with the Symphony this past Friday. I’m happy to report that All Is Fine now, with the help of Kevin DeLuca from the PSO. Hooray for Kevin!
Friday’s preview concert was amazing. I’m sure you’ve probably read the reactions of my fellow bloggers in which they share much the same sentiment. I arrived with my boyfriend, Ross, feeling giddy and excited to feel the power of the PSO’s performance once again since my last visit (which, due to the rigors of graduate school, a full-time job, freelance work, and life in general, was in April, I believe). There is just something about Heinz Hall–the energy, the smell, the colors, the architecture. It all makes me feel so at home and so alive.
I had the joy of being with my parents, too. My father, a musician (he’s played the piano with the Wheeling Symphony and the rattle with the Mansfield Symphony and is currently studying violin with a member of the Butler Symphony), brought my mom and their next-door neighbor, Brandon, who my father teaches piano lessons to. Brandon is 17-years-old and has never been to Heinz Hall before. He was in awe and loved every minute of it. What a thrill it was to be there with someone who has never experienced the rush of the PSO at Heinz Hall before! I couldn’t stop smiling! Occasionally, I could hear my father whisper things to Brandon about classical music, instruments, the Symphony in general, etc. My father is like a little kid in a candy store when he goes to the Symphony, and for him to be able to share that child-like wonder and joy with someone who is new to it all is a beautiful sight to see.
I must admit that my favorite piece was Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. Some of you may know it as the theme music for the Olympics. To hear it performed live was an emotional experience for me (actually, my eyes usually leak when I hear live classical music). The power and the symbolism I associate with this piece kept me on the edge of my seat. Literally. I leaned forward, elbows on knees, eyes glued to the stage. The piece is written for (if I counted correctly) 16 players–all brass. But the power of the piece makes it sound like 160 players are participating. If you’ve never heard the piece, or would like to see/hear it performed live via video, click here for a good YouTube version. (It’s the New York Philharmonic’s performance under the direction of James Levine.) And make sure your sound is turned way up. It’s better that way.
But really, the entire program of the night was spectacular.
It was so exciting to see the bobbing heads and swaying bodies of the listeners in their seats–people really get into it! And the hootin’ and hollarin’ after the pieces finished? Remarkable! There’s such a stigma around symphony audiences–that they’re stuffy and "proper." Au contraire, mes amis. (Well, I mean, of course they’re, "proper" as in They’re-Not-Yelling-Obscenities-Nor-Are-They-Throwing-Tomatoes-At-The-Stage.) They’re excited, they’re vibrant, they’re happy to be there. They’re young, they’re middle-aged, they’re all ages. They wear jeans, they wear flip flops, they wear black cocktail dresses and suits. Just another bit of evidence to support the statement that Music Is For Everybody.
I am already gearing up for opening night! And I hope that after reading our blog posts, YOU are considering attending some of the concerts (or, better yet, getting a season subscription). You won’t regret it!
I hope to see you there! (If you recognize me from my photo, please stop and say hello and introduce yourself. I’d love to know you!)