Friday, May 20, 2016

Grandma's Mini Concert

Sometimes in life, we are called upon to look beyond ourselves and bless others with the gifts we have been given.  This could mean something as simple as paying for the person's order in the drive-through behind you or mowing a neighbor's lawn because they are not able to do so themselves.  I must share a story with you that speaks to a deeper level of humanity not ordinarily exhibited by teenagers and restores my faith in this generation affectionately dubbed "The Millennials."

What I am about to share is a true story that occurred in my classroom yesterday.  I teach high school chorus.  My class creed hangs on my wall - "Great Music, Better People."  I was witness to an extraordinary outpouring of kindness towards another human being by my students yesterday and my hope is that this experience will remain with them for many years to come.

Our Spring concert was last week.  It was our final concert of the year.  This was one senior's last opportunity to sing with his high school chorus prior to graduation.  His grandmother had been in the hospital all week and was extremely ill.  She was devastated that she could not attend her grandson's final concert.  This young man pulled me aside and asked if there was any way his grandmother could come to school one day before the seniors left and listen to the choir perform one song.  Just one.  I looked at my student and said, "If she is physically able, have her come.  If she is not physically able to come, we will go to her.  Is she still in the hospital?" He told me she was recuperating at home.

At 1:00 p.m. yesterday, this young man's grandmother and grandfather walked into our classroom.  She was wearing a portable heart monitor.  We sat them down in a chair and my beautiful choir gave an encore presentation of their music that was sung at our concert last week.  At the conclusion of our mini-concert, the grandmother was weeping.  I knelt down beside her and gave her a hug.  She said, "Thank you for doing this for me.  No one has ever done anything like this for me before."  Then I began to weep.  It was one of the most touching experiences I've ever shared with another person.  You could feel the joy in the air as my students witnessed the blessing of giving the gift of music to another human being.  It was a treasure that only they could give; only this group at only this time.

 Men's Ensemble performing "Vive L'Amour"
which means "Long Live Love!"

I shared this story with 96 people who attended our chorus banquet last night.  It was fresh and it was beautiful and I had to share it.  So many people were touched by this story that I had to share it here as well.

To my students who blessed this woman beyond measure - THANK YOU! You are the reason I get up in the morning, get dressed and show up for another day of music-making in a public high school.  I am extremely proud to call you my students.  You have become "Better People" in the time that I have known you.  May your legacy live on long after you graduate.

Until next time...