Today, our Sinfonia alumni association gave a performance at a local retirement center, and I think everyone was pleased with how it turned out. Every fraternity has songs, but one of the advantages of being a music fraternity is that we can actually sing our songs, even in a group like ourselves that consists mostly of instrumentalists. This performance was part of a weeklong celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of our founder, Ossian E. Mills, in which every chapter, colony and alumni association in the nation was asked to do a "Mills Music MIssion" (described in detail here). We chose a retirement community close to where we usually meet, and it was rewarding to see the looks on the faces of the residents as they heard a song they recognized, as well as when each received a long-stemmed carnation upon entering the common room.
We did about a twenty-minute program, including the version of the National Anthem that we sang at the Rangers game last year, as well as other patriotic songs and some timeless old chestnuts. We mingled with the residents for a while afterwards, and everyone was very appreciative; one lady made it a point to tell me that the saxophone was her favorite instrument (we weren't playing, just singing, but we all introduced ourselves during the program and described what we did at this point in our lives). While everyone here seemed to be in pretty good health, we still felt evidence of music's special power to uplift mankind. While none of us is a trained singer, we combined our voices to make something enjoyable, and I think there's a metaphor for life in there somewhere. All in all, it was a great way to spend part of a Sunday afternoon.
Getting my head in the Games: I had the chance to catch a little bit of the Winter Games tonight; I saw some of the fun stuff: luge, downhill skiing, short-track speedskating and halfpipe snowboarding. Snowboarding looks like fun, though I guess I'd better try skiing first. Oh, and Dave Barry emerges from his pseudo-retirement to file a great column on the Games.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I just don't think I could stand it without music in my life."--the lady whose favorite instrument was the saxophone (yes, I did find out her name, but, ya know, privacy, yada yada). I replied that I definitely couldn't either...