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To Boldly Trek Where Few Have Trekked Before

Posted Jun 15 2010 10:58pm

NOTE: Be brave, soldier. Long post ahead. May wish to read in installments.

One of my favourite things about being a blogger in a small-ish town is getting opportunities.

About a month ago, I was contacted by a darling gal by the name of Esther Wheaton; she was with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony , and was wondering if perchance I might be interested in reviewing one of their concerts.  Naturally, being as much of a lover of the Arts as I am of the Sciences, I was more than happy to oblige.  If you think I’m just saying that, I’m about to prove you wrong–with pictures from my hazy high school past:

Me at The Julliard School in New York during our senior band trip (yup, I was a percussionist) –

Me MC-ing one of our school’s monthly talent shows, fulfilling one of my many lovely obligations as vice president of music council–

Me in Grade 10, sporting a t-shirt I made myself –

There’s more to the hazy high school music story, but suffice it to say that my high school had one of the best secondary school music programs in the province (and still does)–and I was deeply implicated in it.

Now that I have clearly demonstrated to you all my every right to be reunited with my long-neglected passion for music, band, symphony, and all around artsy-fartsy geekiness, we can move on.

I had selected the Star Trek: The Music concert to review, admittedly because it had something to do with film, but also because it was the only thing I recognized.  When the big night finally rolled around, I had successfully convinced my friend Melissa to come with,  and my brother to be the driver.

The lobby of Centre in the Square , upon arrival:

Obligatory Trekkie photos.  I have no idea what we’re doing with our hands:

Our seats:

Finally, the lights dimmed and the concert began.

Naturally, I spent most of the evening watching the percussion section.  In particular, I liked watching this one percussion lady whom I nicknamed (in my mind) “Squirrel Girl” because she kept scuttling around from instrument to instrument in the back, much like a distressed rodent.  Nonetheless, she was very good.

I marveled at how the conductor, John Morris Russell, continued to maintain such incredible animation and liveliness all throughout.

But this night, Russell was more than just a sprightly conductor–along with the likes of Robert Picardo (the Doctor on Star Trek: the Voyager) and John De Lancie (Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager), he took on the role of the actor, with occasional interjections in the two co-hosts’ dialogue.  Of course, Picardo and De Lancie made for a charming couple, and although many of their Trekkie jokes were lost on me, their well-delivered lines of humour and wit were not.

But to paint a fair picture, the following must be said: Melissa and I were questioned skeptically for snapping photos, even after being cleared, and after telling the usher that we had been cleared.  I think the press would greatly benefit from having badges at these events, and that, even if we are required to verbally clarify our status to the usher, that we should be treated with respect until “proven guilty”. I was incredibly bothered by the disdainful tone with which friend and I were treated by a particular usher–Melissa, being incredibly shy, immediately retracted into her turtle shell and almost refused to take photos after this incident.

Aside from this little bad apple, however, the K-W Symphony itself had me captivated.  It had been so long since I’d had the privilege of simply sitting down to enjoy any artistic piece, that I welcomed the harmonious, eclectic, and out-of-world sounds of Star Trek: The Music with open arms and an eager ear.

Because we’re busy, because we’re “new age”, and because most of us have lost touch with the purity of good art, in a spin-off of the classic split infinitive catch-phrase of Star Trek, I was glad to boldly trek where few young college students have trekked before–a.k.a the Concert Hall.  For me, watching the Symphony perform rekindled a spark of creativity and renewed a zest for aural beauty that I had long thought lost–as a Science student, you tend to lose things like that–and for that opportunity, I am incredibly grateful.  After all, the best kinds of opportunities are those that breed possibility.

Yes, like cocoa and cheddar.

Have you ever been to a symphony? What does music do to you?

;-) Aletheia

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