Listen to their stories
Nov. 24, 2014
by Jenni Sebora

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a holiday open house of a local artist. This artist has a studio at her home. Her home, studio, and work are beautiful.

As I was driving away after purchasing a small portrait, I thought how wonderful it is that an artist is actually making money at her talent. Her work, skill, and talent are recognized and appreciated by many.

Our society puts such an emphasis on athletics. NFL players certainly do not work fulltime, and do not get fired if they do not perform. They are under contract. And yet, they are among the highest paid people in our society.

I love watching sports, and participated in many sports in high school, and also collegiately. But, I also equally love attending musical concerts, orchestra performances, musicals, theater productions, and band performances, and admire the artistic talent of the visual arts.

A couple of weeks ago, my son played in an honors band at St. Olaf College, with a couple of other local high school musicians who were invited, as well. The band consisted of high school band musicians from across the state of Minnesota.

The young musicians spent the day instructed and conducted by St. Olaf orchestra/band professors and a guest band director from a Texas university. A lot of hard work was put in by this talented group of musicians. A lot of hard work, and really no publicity.

Family, friends, and community members were invited for a concert in the early evening. It was fabulous. Pieces were played by a couple St. Olaf orchestras, a guest musician, and, of course, the guests of honor, the high school musicians, who collectively came together to learn, grow, and share their talents.

I absolutely love listening to live music and respect the time, energy, and skill that is exhibited by these performers. As I sat and listened to the various pieces, I observed various performers reading their music, tapping their feet, completely focused on their work. The beautiful music vibrated in the air, in culmination of these individual performers working together in conjunction – the flute with the percussion, and the saxophone with the tuba. It was magical.

The conductors relay the rich history of each piece of music and its composer. There is a story behind each piece of music that is performed, and that story is told in each performance. That is why I love art in all its forms.

Theater, vocal, band, orchestra, and fine arts – they are about creativity, expression, and telling stories.

Communities come together to support athletes at state tournaments. Communities need to do the same for the arts, as well – whether it’s a local theater performance, a band concert, a choir performance, or a form of visual arts.

Listen to their stories; they have a lot to tell.

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