My World Tuesday: My Girl in Music City

 For the first time in weeks, I have stepped out of my school teacher routine and have something to write about.  Not only did I step out of my routine, I stepped out of my state to be with my daughter for her concert at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennesssee.  She plays clarinet, and she was part of the NAfME National Honor Ensembles.  Six hundred specially selected young musicians from around the country met from October 26 through the 29th in Nashville to practice their music and perform at the Grand Ole Opry.
 Here's Adella playing.  She is sitting next to a boy named Vincent.  She has been playing alongside boys named Vincent since she was a freshman.  This is  a different Vincent from the one back home, but he is a Vincent nonetheless.  (The Vincent back home is at UConn now; he is the first student from Nonnewaug to make it to Nationals--probably because he did the leg work and discovered there was such a thing and auditioned.  This young man is my hero for encouraging Adella to play and to try out for regionals and to keep going.  He is a true friend.)
 Before I get too mushy, I better remember where I am.  This hearse was across the street from the Gaylord Opryland Resort, where the kids camped out for the length of this musical experience.   I don't know why country music needs a hearse if it isn't dead, but, heck, it's a Cadillac, and it's funny--especially with the siren thing on top.
 Here's one view of the inside of the hotel, which is crazy beautiful with water, waterfalls, exotic plants, and more exotic plants.

 I love this picture of Adella, even if it is a little soft onthe focus.  She's having fun.  She said all the kids did.  They were from all over the country, and they were usually on their own.  So when they sat down for a snack or a meal, they were happy to talk to whomever was there about anything.  Kids connected through music, through shared experiences in the hotel, through the phenomenal experience of being kids.  Later, at the airport, I watched this happen as kids wearing their NAfME T-shirts or still in their concert attire bumped into each other and talked--and talked about the practice, the concert, the challenge of going to school the next day.

Here in Nashville, on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, were 600 or so young Americans pouring their hearts and souls into their music knowing darn well their chances of making a living by making music were next to nil.  (One conductor  encouraged parents to encourage their kids to keep playing in college, no matter what they study.  This made me sad because the conductor's point was they were not likely to study music in college no matter how good they were.)

Here were kids whose second language is music (in which they are fluent) speaking to each other and to all of us in the audience about what is magical and beautiful in life.  Because what is magical and beautiful is worth it.  
I am happy to entrust the future of our nation with the band geeks.  They have heart.  They have art.  They know how to talk to people.  They know how to create beautiful worlds through sound.  They are happy to do it because what is beautiful defines life for them.  They do it through the air they breathe in concert with the people around them who breathe same air in different ways.  And they are kind.

At the airport, a young man who had also participated in nationals struck up a conversation with my daughter while they waited in line for airport security.  They talked about the concert for a while, and then he said, "By the way:  you're gorgeous," and walked away because he was actually in the wrong line.  My daughter said, "Thank you," and smiled.  And that was that.  And that is why band geeks should run the country.  They celebrate beauty, and they do not count the cost.

Our World Tuesday


  1. Hooray for Adella!! Such a great post and pics for the day, Sandy!! Looking at how much Adella has grown over the past five years that I've been blogging and I am amazed! Such a beautiful young lady she is and talented, too!! Thanks as always for sharing! Hope you have a great week!

  2. What a wonderful outing for you two. I am so glad that Adella gets to do tese things. She is blessed.

  3. What an honor! Congratulations to your beautiful daughter (the young man in line was not really being kind so much as he was being honest.. and unafraid to speak!) Listening to the concert must have been such a thrill for you (almost as much as for Adella.) But yes, sad that there are not more opportunities for these talented young people to live their dream. But some will. And no matter what, this was a wonderful moment in time for both of you!! Thanks for sharing it.

  4. PS: I wish I could kill that spammer for you -- figuratively of course (I think). Since I'm not at work like you are right now I'd have plenty of time to do it!

  5. sweet experiences, recently at a book festival I watched a group of elementary students play in a string orchestra and it was beautiful. Made me realize that there is still good in the world and our youth are experiencing some of it!

  6. Anonymous7:42 PM

    My daughter is also a band geek but band geeks are such great kids. They are more interested in practicing then going out and getting into trouble. If my daughter ever was acting snippy I just had to say she would not be able to go to band practice and she would change her attitude.

  7. You must be proud. Adella is truly beautiful and creates it too. I hope she continues to play.

  8. What a thrill. Thank you for sharing. I second your opinion on band geeks. Even when I was in highs school (back when the Earth's crust had cooled enough to walk on) the band geeks were special.

  9. Gosh I love this post for SO many reasons! Thank you for sharing it; it changed my day in a beautiful way. Blessing to you, A, and the band 'geeks'

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    =^..^= . <3

  10. What an amazing experience for your even more amazing daughter. Just wonderful.

  11. Anonymous3:20 AM

    Awww - what a touching post!

  12. smiles...def a cool experience...nashville is a cool place...have not been there in 10 years...but the opryland resort/hotel is pretty amazing...i walked around there last time i was in oldest is taking band now, so we may not be too many years behind you....

    hope the school year is going well for you...was parent teacher conference day today...smiles.


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