Different Instruments, Same Music

The concept of Midday Music was fascinating to me when I first arrived on campus.

The concept of Midday Music was fascinating to me when I first arrived on campus. A student concert—of primarily solos, no less—in the middle of the day? Of course, it was a matter of only days before I signed up for the earliest one available, curious to experience one for myself.

When the date of the concert finally arrived, I was struck by the familiarity of the event. The performers were dressed formally, but the students were mostly in class dress, and Henry Golub's '18 cheerful demeanor as Performing Arts Master Matthew Campbell lent a conviviality to the show starkly contrasted with my past experiences at concerts. I loved it. Middays became something to look forward to each month, and I was fortunate to be able to perform in a fair few. My unexpectedly final, but favorite performance at the School ended up being a Midday duet with Gunn Wanavejkul '20 in the Chapel; I wouldn't have had it any other way. What struck me most was how different it felt to play in the Chapel. I'd played in orchestra concerts, and sung with the Lawrenceville Singers at Lessons and Carols, but that Midday Music was different. It was small, with maybe 30 attendees, if not less. Gunn and I had been practicing for weeks, and I was slightly anxious before the performance; but, the moment the first person began singing, my other concerns dissolved. I've always liked the Chapel, and Clark Music Center, for that sense of solitariness.

Midday Music wasn't the only new musical experience I had at Lawrenceville. In elementary school, I'd been part of the choir for a time until I'd dropped it in favor of joining the orchestra. I'd always wanted to sing in a choir again, and this past fall, Lawrenceville provided me with that opportunity. Ms. Heimes rather graciously accepted my sudden desire to sing as a senior, and welcomed me into the Lawrenceville Singers three weeks into the Term. My Wednesday mornings began alternating between playing an instrument I was familiar with, in Dresdner Hall, and relearning one that I'd once known better, in Behr. I remember feeling a mild apprehension before my first rehearsal, an uncertainty about whether I was making the right decision in deciding to suddenly branch out like this in my last year at the School, whether it would be awkward being the only V Former in the ensemble, whether I really wanted to try to sing so much that I'd give up that time in which I could be playing the double bass. But singing in that choir ended up giving me everything I'd ever wanted from it—the feeling of progression, the sense of community, and simple, sheer joy—and after that first rehearsal, I never looked back. One of the greatest experiences I've had at Lawrenceville was not being a member of the audience during Lessons and Carols, but singing to all the people as a performer.

Lawrenceville music has given me many other things: memories from Explorations opportunities when I was new to the school; the technical knowledge to help organize events with Allegro Council; chances to learn jazz and piano, with the help and guidance of my peers. I've better understood the universal reach of music, as I watched our performances at Morris Hall, Clover Meadows, and the Lawrence Senior Center bridge the gap between us and members of our greater, senior community. But most of all, and maybe most importantly, I've come to better understand what music is, what it means to me, and what it can be and can come to mean in my life and others' lives. And for all of that, I’m so very happy, and thankful, that I had the chances to explore music here at Lawrenceville.

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