Saturday, December 04, 2010

Daily Doings and a World Premiere

Beds are back in order now. That feels good. Left-over holiday food has been eaten up, frozen, or thrown out. I am working on the Christmas letter and enjoying early cards from those more efficient than I am.

It was good to go again to Jackie Hancock’s rural home yesterday for the Women’s Club Christmas party. Last year she wanted us to come and see all of David’s beautiful outside decorations, and I am sure this year she wanted for things to be as normal as possible as life goes on without him. Her son and wife are still home from the Middle East, and Scott greeted us and served as valet taking our car keys, turning the cars around in the back yard with its beautiful forest, and having each car facing outward so we could leave without any problem. That was the nicest thing I have ever experienced at someone’s home. (Once I knocked into a mailbox, once I got off into slinging mud, and many times I have been nervous as I backed out hoping I was not going to do harm to someone’s car or tree or flower bed—or land in a ditch and have to be pulled out.)

We had met at the Marion library to car pool. I was delighted to have three lovely ladies ride with me. The youngest was 90, one was 94, and one was 95. Two of these three had driven to the library, and one had picked up the non-driver. These women are not the oldest in the club, but they are inspirational to us and give us hope that we too may be able to stay this active.

After the meeting I went by Katherine and David’s, and I barely got home in time for Gerald and me to turn around and go back to town for Sam’s symphonic band concert at 7:45. It was impossible to make the earlier concert of the younger Cadet Band. There was another group performing in another gym, and parking was scarce. We may have gotten the last space in that parking lot.

People were excited anticipating the world premiere of David Gillingham’s work “Lucid Dreams” written specifically with Director Jim Childers’ 47-member group in mind. Gillingham is a well known clinician and guest conductor, who is a professor of music theory and composition at Central Michigan University. Gillingham had heard and been impressed with Childers’ wind ensemble performance at the Illinois Music Educators Association’s All State Festival in Peoria a few years ago. Childers remained in contact with Gillingham, who has written many college band compositions and who wanted to branch out into writing for high school and advanced junior high levels.

From the program notes, I learned what lucid dreams are. Dutch psychiatrist and writer Frederik van Eeden coined the term to describe dreams where the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming. The composition began with controlled awareness and then darkened to “multiple dreams of various levels of fright.” Finally, Gillingham noted in the score that the composition “succumbs to lucidity and ends calmly with a hint of mysteriousness.” The standing ovation the crowd at the junior high gym gave the band at the end of the premiere presentation was lucidly appreciative. So were Sam’s two grandmothers after the concert seeing him in a tux that made us aware this young teen has mysteriously grown up when we weren’t watching.

Although I am sure Gerald was tired from his day’s outing to Union County and Cape to visit with his brothers, he pleased me by taking the long loop home so I could see the Christmas light display at the houses on Cherry Valley Road. Ahhhh.

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