Today I decided to attend the Joliet Symphony Orchestra holiday concert. I haven’t been into the “Ho Ho Ho!”s, the animated snowmen, and the glowing reindeer as much the last few years — and I usually prefer to perform in concerts, rather than be performed to — but there is something to be said for the peace and joy that some holiday music can bring. So, after being invited by a friend from the orchestra, and taking a peek at the program, I decided I to go.
I am so glad I went. From the beginning, I was already tearing up during the Offenbach Intermezzo and Barcarolle. Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker reminded me of my childhood, and I got excited with each piece I recognized; I remembered watching the ballet, and I also remembered being the little sugar-plum fairy, in her homemade ballerina costume, who used to spin around the house to the music of her parents’ old record.
The soloists were also a fantastic touch. The flautist’s runs during Chaminade were amazing, the baritone’s voice was rich and deep during Handel’s “The Trumpet Shall Sound” from Messiah, and the harp and percussion did an amazing job throughout. As a clarinetist myself, I eagerly strained to hear the beautiful clarinet solos, and I melted every time the violins began to play.
I miss playing, but it was really a fascinating experience being on the other side. I probably won’t be able to return the orchestra for some time, but I intend to continue coming to see them play.