There is always a certain amount of excitement around the first day of school. At NEC Prep, first notes vibrated through the air this past Saturday. You could literally reach out and feel them.
I arrived at Brown Hall around 7:30am and it was already buzzing with students and parents for the 8am String Training Orchestra. Students where unpacking instruments of all sizes to match these young apprentices. Peter Jarvis placed nametags on all the stands and students cautiously made their way to their seats. For some, this was their first orchestra rehearsal ever. For me, it was a flashback to years ago, when I walked into the String Training Orchestra with my three-quarter violin in hand.
Parents lined the edges of Brown Hall and took seats in the balcony. Amazingly, when the clock struck 8am, everyone was ready. 92 string members of STO had arrived and Peter Jarvis took the podium for their first notes. “To start we are only going to play the first two bars.” Bows rose to strings and two bars of music were played. Magic. We all learn to walk, skip and run, one note at a time.
At 5:55pm, later that same day and I’ll admit-exhausted, I found myself back in Brown Hall. String Training Orchestra members were no longer sitting in their seats. Instead, now our oldest students, members of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, had taken their places. Juniors and Seniors smiled at long time friends and welcomed new students into the fold. I watched, as once again, students raised their bows to their strings. I closed my eyes. Strings swelled through the air and I heard the harp enter. They were playing Mahler’s Fifth Symphony’s Adagietto. David Loebel took a moment to remind the orchestra that the rests where just as important as the notes.
I smiled. In the whirlwind that flew through the school today, so many musical journeys had begun.
Wishing everyone a wonderful year at NEC PREP!
NEC Prep Director