Tuesday, March 06, 2007

One Sunday Afternoon

My front row balcony seat enabled me to count 100 orchestra members and 120 choir singers on stage at the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at 3:00 pm on March 4, 2007.

I was in the audience with hundreds of people that Sunday afternoon to watch and listen to the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale, and the N. C. School of the Arts Cantata Singers perform the composition by Gustav Mahler titled Symphony No 2 (Resurrection).

The director, Robert Moody, introduced the piece with remarks about the Vienna artist of the late 19th century. He concluded his remarks by requesting the audience withhold any applause until the end of the 85 minute performance without intermission.

Throughout, the orchestra exploded from a dead silence into beautiful sounds from string, brass, flute and drums. The music sometimes stopped abruptly with a return to total silence. The audience members didn't move or make any sounds of coughs or shuffling in seats. I breathed ever so softly as I believe every audience member inhaled and exhaled in equal silence.

Eighty-five minutes passed as we watched sometimes gentle and sometimes aggressive movement by musicians who produced pleasing music from instruments or voices. My wife was one of the alto voices.

The audience stood and erupted with applause at the end. This clapping and an occasional bravo continued for four ovations.

Have a good day and return here on March 11 for more about Parris Island.


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