I have been a part of the Martin family since 2005, and have gotten together with my sisters-in-law on many an occasion, but this past weekend was different. And by different, I mean fantastic!
It’s hard to believe that a week has passed since we attended the Red Carpet Oscar Party. It seems as though every other gathering we’ve ever encountered together has involved some level of stress. Yes, we love the husbands, we love the kids, we love the parents, but this time there were no expectations or demands, no towing of board games or wrapped Christmas gifts, and no dishes to pass. This time, we left all of that behind us and we had fun. That’s right, ALL play and NO work. Quite a change for this clan, because, let me tell you, these people know how to work!
Between the four of us ladies, Kathleen, Val, Shellie and I, we have quite a representation of vocations – a church music director, a financial analyst, a dairy farmer and a realtor. Quite the mix! But, the music was prepared for the next morning’s service, the numbers were crunched, the cows were milked and the listings had just sold firm. So, we were able to leave the work behind for once and relax.
The Mennonite background of my husband’s family is a good example to all of what it means to put in a good day’s work. I remember introducing my husband-to-be to my dear Uncle Wayne who has since passed away. When I asked him what he thought about Roger, and after asking me a few questions about the family, this was his response: “Well, his family is Mennonite, of German decent, they were farmers, and he is a woodworker. So, I can tell you one thing, I don’t think this boy is lazy!” And that was the truth. At the time of that conversation, all of my grandparents had passed away, as well as my oldest uncle, so I think my Uncle Wayne was my oldest family member and I am the youngest grandchild. I didn’t realize it then but looking back on that night, I think this was his blessing on my marriage to Roger. What a gift.
Music is a gift, too, and a love for it is something we all share. As we listened to the Symphony play themes from Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Exodus, Chariots of Fire and Titanic to name a few, we just smiled at each other as we were probably all thinking the same thing, “Wow, this really is beautiful.” Listening to music that reminds us of a something we’ve seen before is very touching. Besides being sentimental, though, this evening also brought forth many laughs.
Michael Krajewski was hilarious! He said he was born in Detroit and now lives in Orlando. He wanted to show us a picture of his house in Florida. Working in the real estate business and having lived in Florida for many years, I was curious. I thought that maybe a screen would appear and he would show us his lovely Florida home. Think again! Instead, he took a little snapshot out of his wallet and held it up. Are you kidding? The guy is on the stage at the Centre in the Square and we are just a few rows from the back. He then handed it to a guy in the front row and explained that everyone can take a look at the picture and pass it along. The last person to see it on the main level was supposed to excuse himself and carry it up to the balcony seats.
So, throughout the remainder of the evening, we kept seeing people moving about the place. It was later that we realized that people are still passing that little picture. Do you think it may have occurred to anyone in the many rows before ours that this man was playing a trick on us? Only in Canada would people have been so respectful and trusting. I thought about what the picture would have looked like if Michael would have tried this trick in his hometown. Perhaps a little graffiti would have been added.
Other highlights of this event:
- Michael Krajewski, the guest conductor, was fabulous. I heard many people say that they have never seen a conductor weave so much personality and humour into the evening. Because the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony is at such an amazing level, they can attract the best!
- The musical selections were amazing. The evening started out with A Hollywood Salute which was an upbeat BIG Hollywood sound. It reminded me of what it would have been like to attend the first Academy Awards event. All of the pieces to follow were carefully selected. From the 1930’s all the way to today, we heard it all.
- The individual musicians were, as always, top notch. Always love to hear Larry Larson on the trumpet. One of the extras that they brought in for this evening was pianist Jason White. A great addition!
If you were not able to make it out for the Oscar Party, there is still another opportunity to see Michael Krajewski in action. He is scheduled to conduct another event on March 2 & 3 of 2012: The Music of John Williams. One of the most famous composers of this century, John Williams' scores have revolutionized the film industry. This concert features some of his most notable themes: E.T., Superman, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter. The concert also includes the music we know and love from all six Star Wars films.
But, don’t wait until 2012 to enjoy the Symphony! The next Pops event is next week. On April 7 & 8, Bugs Bunny will be at the Symphony – on the big screen, in sync with the orchestra. If you are wondering when would be a good time to introduce your children to something cultured, this would be the right night. I hear that the Friday night is just about sold old, but there are a few seats still available on Thursday. Oh, let the kids stay up past their bedtime for this one. It’s worth it! Get your tickets online at Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and while you are at it, check into a subscription. Or feel free to give the office a call instead.
The 2011/2012 season has already launched, so you can now see all of the concerts planned for the coming year. What a wonderful array of line-ups they have planned for us. Truly, one of the reasons why I am so passionate about selling real estate in Kitchener-Waterloo, particularly to newcomers in our area, is because we have such an amazing art community. Those who have always lived here may not realize just what a gem we have right here in our own back yard. But, I truly believe that under the brilliant direction of Edwin Outwater, our local symphony brings us some of the best music in the world. Let’s not take it for granted.
As for me and my group, having just the right number of tickets was what brought the four of us together that night at the Centre in the Square. As always, the music was second to none, but it wasn’t the only purpose of the evening. It was a long time coming, the four of us getting together. The evening was lovely, we all had a few laughs, some of us shed a few tears, and the conversation that followed was truly meaningful. Attending this event was just the doorway we walked through, which brought us to where we are now....closer to one another.
That’s what music does; it bridges gaps, it slows busy people down, it brings people of all ages and walks of life together and it helps us to remember what is truly important in life...each other! And isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? We may not remember every tune that was played or every movie for which these themes were written, but we will never forget this evening and how it made us feel.
I encourage all of you to do the same for yourself and the special people in your life. Make some phone calls, buy some tickets, book an evening at the Symphony and just see what the music may spark in your own life and in the lives of those special to you! No excuses! If you still aren't convinced, check out this awesome video:
Ladies...you know who you are...If you are still reading this, when are we booking our next get together?