Community Orchestra Practice

I’ve been a bad blogger the past week because I was being a good student and writing final papers.  I do have a poem I wrote a couple of months ago to share in honor of Trinity Sunday.

Community Orchestra Practice


Sophie, our conductor, lifts her hands,

but we keep on talking

about the traffic, the weather, and our problems.

Sophie points and Ibrahim, who left his parents in Iraq to chase hope for his unborn child

and speaks little English – but trusts music

plays our tuning A on the grand piano,

first softly, then louder and louder,

until finally

we adjust our instruments.

Sophie turns to our composer whom she has always loved –

some foreigner whose name we can’t pronounce

who sits and closes her eyes

eager to hear this symphony she dreamed for us.

Sophie lifts her hands again, and gracefully inaugurates the beat.

Pete and Paul hit each other with their drum mallets,

And giggle while they make their own noise with the cymbals.

Half of us are flat;

the other half are sharp

We all stare at our particular notes – each playing our parts the way we imagined them alone.

Not one of us follows Sophie.

Finally, our composer weeps in disgust, yelling words we understand to be


about our utter disregard for music.

She throws her score on the floor and heads for the exit,

her back turned toward all of us.

That shy, awkward boy who has never left the side of his brother and sister surprises all of us.

He follows her.

“Don’t take our music,” he pleads loudly – he does not stutter this time.

We all feel grief we do not understand for this symphony unheard.

Sophie points to Josh, our composer’s beloved son

who sits in First Chair.

Josh plays beauty,

because he keeps his eyes on Sophie

whose ears and heart know music.

In that single moment we hear that

Josh’s simple melody inspired each accent and rest.

Our composer rejoins us,

Her faith restored in music and ours begun.

The youth takes his place with us again – grinning ear to ear.

We lift our instruments and begin to be.

Sophie sings music through us from these splendid pages.

We know and love our composer now.

We are musicians rehearsing our great spring concert.



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