I just got home after attending a performance of Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me, Kate” at a local high school. As much as I love going to see the “professionals” doing musical theater on Broadway, I enjoyed this even more. Why? Because I knew some of the actors. Neighborhood kids having the time of their lives. Learning their craft and discovering their potential; some of them onstage for the first time.
For me, this was thrilling.
I arrived at the theater a few minutes early, paid one-fifth of what I would pay for the cheapest seats on Broadway, and got front row seats. The excellent student orchestra was nearby and some of the actors interacted with me and the other “front-rowers” during a couple of songs.
This is also what I liked about being in college during my own student days. When I went to the school’s orchestra concert, I knew everyone onstage. Sure, it was about the music. But even more so, it was about the people making the music. The people making the music.
Yes, go to Broadway, go to The Royal Albert Hall, go to the Sydney Opera House, go to the Blue Note Tokyo, but also go to your local area’s performances. The neighborhood school. The tavern down the street. The bandshell in your local park. I guess we could call it “grass roots music-making.” Music made by people you know. And if you don’t know them yet, you’ll get to know them real soon after hearing them play a few times. Then you’ll know what I mean.
It’s about the people making the music, just as much as the music itself. And it’s been like this for thousands of years. We’ve just forgotten it lately.
If I had to choose just one blog post for everyone in the world to read, THIS would be it. I’d love to know your thoughts on the subject.