Nov 17, 2018

Being Thankful – Encore 2018


I know: ” You’re making a habit of this!” No, I will not. But in reading this ‘Thanksgiving Blog’ from 2012 I found some thoughts that I believe still have merit six years down the road. So, I once again beg your indulgence. A few updates have been made.

Mental health professionals and spiritual mentors agree that making a list of persons and things for which we are grateful is a good habit to develop. A further refinement of this practice is to actually read this ‘gratitude list’ everyday. . .before the day gets underway, before any stray negative thoughts have a chance to set the tone for our day. From a personal standpoint, making this list is not difficult. With my wife Marcia at the very top, I proceed on to music – the great joy of my life.

I’m also so grateful for the staff, board and benefactors of The Discovery Orchestra. While I may be the public face, I am simultaneously merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg of individuals that make our mission possible.

As you might expect from our Discovery Orchestra perspective, being able to listen to a vast array of music of all genres at the push of a button is something for which to feel thankful. Our smartphones and computers now store vast amounts of music to be replayed at our command. Since the first writing of this post, the number of YouTube performances by the world’s greatest symphony orchestras has increased exponentially. . .an incredible gift from technology to classical music lovers.

Of course, listening to one of the finest orchestras in the world in a live performance, such as the one Marcia and I attended by the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra under Valery Gergiev at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center just two weeks ago, is an enormous privilege! We both agreed that their rendition of Debussy’s Prelude ÌÊ L’apres-Midi D’un Faune was the most beautiful live performance of that work we’ve ever encountered. It was exquisite.

But most of all, we are thankful for the creators of music – the composers. So here we are again at Thanksgiving Day. How on earth does one say “Thank you!” to a person long deceased, who wrote or rather imagined a piece of music in their head more than one-hundred years ago that absolutely moves one to the point of weeping and having chills in 2018? How can we ever thank them?

The only way we’ve devised at The Discovery Orchestra is to help as many people as we can to discover that they, too, can be so deeply moved by listening to, that is giving this music their undivided attention! Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Movement IVnow there’s a movement for which we can be thankful!