Saturday, March 03, 2012

Remembering situations that make me happy

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from an old friend the other day. Back in 1998-1999 I joined a musical group at a church as one of two flute players. At the time it was a way to fill time after college in the interim of trying to decide what steps to take next in life.

Catherine was the lead vocalist on the team and the general organizer of the group. She emailed me to invite me to like her facebook page. She and her husband just moved to Burbank California and were working in film and music projects.

The email reminded me of what an incredible experience that music team was for me. At the time I didn't realize it nor did I set out to have such an incredible experience. I just opened up my schedule for 1-2 hours per week and saw an amazing experience unfold.

The director was a woman in her mid-late thirties who had previously had a job writing/scoring music for Nova specials on TV. She had been nominated for at least one Emmy and it wasn't clear to me whether or not she had won the award. (The pastor seemed convinced that she had won although I received different information from other people.)

She wrote parts for each musician on the team to familiar songs we always sang at church. The style of the music was really original- she seemed to add a flavor to familiar tunes that I hadn't heard before.

The weekly practices were a team building experience and the weekly services a chance to lead in front of the church.

The best part were the special services like Christmas and Easter. Now that I attend a church without an established music program I really appreciate the training and effort it took to put together those programs. There was narrative to go along with music and a bit of drama as well. It was the perfect combination of speaking and music to make the holiday special.

Looking back, it would have been neat to learn some of the composing that Kari did for the group. I have done a bit of composing in the past- I composed my senior year of high school for my senior project. However, I don't have any formal training in composition which is what Kari brought to the table.

I've never seen a group like that in my twelve years of living in southern California. It was a unique experience that I didn't fully appreciate at the time. Sometimes these boosts come our way- we fall into something marvelous and don't even realize it until its long past. Its these types of experiences that truly make me happy.