(Photo by Alison Harbaugh)

On Assignment: PHOTOGRAPHY

I walked into the large open foyer with the layered staircases at the University of Maryland’s Performing Arts Center just as I have been the past few months , but this time something was very different. Instead of the concert of rehearsal being played in one of the many stages, this time the musicians were seated at the base of the wide staircase and the audience were seated on the stairs looking down on the National Orchestral Institute musicians who have spent the last month at UMD. The crowd was much larger than I had expected and just about every family there had at least one child with them, which made sense after the ensembles began playing their instrumental pieces accompanied by a reader who was reading from books such as “Where the Wild Things Are”, “Harrold and the Purple Crayon” and for the finale piece, “Peter and the Wolf”.

Watching the expressions on the children’s faces as each instrument took their turns weaving in and out of the story to create a background piece that blended beautifully with the words coming out of the mouth of the reader. I had a permanent grin on my face, and when I looked across the crowd to see my roommate, who came along with me to see the performance, he too was grinning from ear to ear. At the end of the performance I walked up to him and said, “what’d you think” (he’s a graduate from Towson with a music degree so I’m always interested in his musical opinions) his response was “that performance made me feel like a kid again.” ¬†Looking around the rest of the room, I felt that we weren’t the only ones that felt giddy as we left the building.

Music can transform us to places that are hard to remember how to get back too, and on that day, in just 1 hours time, it did exactly that and I am grateful for it.


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