Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Red, White, and Blue and a little surprise

I cannot let another day go by without mentioning how very much I enjoyed the concert put on by the Mountain Home Symphony for this year's Red, White, and Blue festival, coined, Red, White, and Beautiful.

Indeed it was. 

We are very fortunate to have this dedicated group of musical performers to entertain us. I found this concert, held at Arkansas State University Mountain Home, held on the evening of June 23, to be extra special. It was even more than I had hoped because of a surprise not long before the rousing finale of The Stars and Stripes Forever. 

I love music. Like so many others, listening to music has always had a soothing, calming effect on me. I decided to attend the concert when I first learned about it in the local paper. Since the death of my husband John, just two months ago, I felt some good inspiring, enthusiastic, marching tunes were just what I needed.

I had no idea how emotional it would be. 

I admit I was a little weepy during the first beautiful solo rendition of our national anthem. My patriotism always makes me a little emotional, especially given the nature of the politics of the day, but there is also something about a voice with the ability to make beautiful music. The human condition that allows such a thing confounds me. I have no musical talent, but am in awe of those who do. 

The concert was beautiful, as each individual instrument blended so perfectly with the others in the making of music. 

But then, in the program, of which I was unaware, the selection was Henry Mancini's Moon River. At that moment, I felt utter joy as I saw my life flash before my eyes. Moon River, originally written for the movie, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was Andy Williams' theme song and I have loved Andy Williams since I was 14 years old.

Just hearing the first few bars of this so-recognizable melody left me breathless.

As I closed my eyes I was transformed back into my early 20's. I was at Airie Crown Theater in Chicago. It was in the 1970's and my late husband John and I had first met and that was one of our first dates. He took me to see Andy Williams sing, backed by a full orchestra conducted by Henry Mancini. Of course, Moon River was prominently featured. That night was magical. 

Several years ago, when I attended his book signing, I was able to meet my idol, Andy Williams. I wrote about it at the time. (click here). I was able to tell Andy I was his biggest fan, and that I married my husband because he took me to hear Andy sing. That became a legend in our 46-year marriage. I had told John that so many times that we both actually believed it. 

I am grateful to the Mountain Home Symphony Orchestra for giving me the opportunity to relive this special moment in my life. But isn't that what music is all about? It has the power to transform us. It can bring us tremendous joy. And it can simply make us happy. So I offer my appreciation to every performer who is dedicated to making music. They did a splendid job. We, in this part of the country are so lucky to have them. And, I look forward to their next concert.

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