Posts Tagged ‘LAMA’

Music Is Fantastic. That Is All.

August 19, 2008

Just kidding, that’s not all.

For the last three summers, I’ve participated in this little charity music group called LAMA, or Lamorinda Musical Artists. It’s run by a cool guy I used to go to school with, and it’s always small enough that we are able to rehearse in his living room. Which is awesome.

This summer, it was super small. Like, TINY. Maybe 10 people in the band? And that was only the day before the concert. For the weeks leading up to it, we had 5 people max, and three of them were flutes. So it was a little odd, ensemble-wise. I wasn’t sure what the status of the band would be come concert day, so Greg and I started working on a duet as did Emily and Lynn.

The flute duet I gave Emily and Lynn to play was called Allegro by Vivaldi. It was the duet that MengRuo and I have been playing together since we were sophomores. Seeing them outside practicing and laughing together totally brought me back to all the Thursday afternoons MengRuo and I spent in JM practice rooms, practicing that duet and cracking up over our mistakes. That made me smile.

So, when the concert day rolled around, we were all kind of dreading it. We didn’t think the band would do too well, and we were all kind of nervous. Looking back on it, I don’t know why I didn’t have more faith in us. Oh well. Concert time. Emily and Lynn played first. They told me they messed up, but I didn’t notice, because I was too busy smiling like an idiot. Seeing them up there performing, simply for the fun of doing it…it was awesome. And, talking to them afterwards, they were happy. I believe the gist of the conversation was:

“It’s so fun being able to play music when you aren’t afraid of messing up, when you just get to have fun and know that people like it anyway. School band concerts are never like that, Benstein is scary.”

(It’s true. I had fun at Campolindo band concerts sometimes, but only when I played flawlessly. Other times, I’d be in tears afterward. Way too much pressure.)

The wind band pieces went fabulously, in my opinion. I thought it was great, I was smiling the whole time. The notes may not have been all perfect, but damn, I was loving every second of it.

Afterward, I was talking to Emily, Lynn, and Leanne:

“So, did you guys have fun?”

“Yes, it was so much fun.”

“Want to do LAMA next year?”


That made my night.

Then we got frozen yogurt from Papamingos, a total Pinkberry knock-off. I broke my frozen yogurt pact. Fuck. Mmm, FroYo for dinner (and dessert). Then, we went back to my house and played Rock Band. We had a blast.

While I was driving Lynn home, we blasted The Stars and Stripes Forever and sang at the top of our lungs. Fuck, that song means so much to me. I can’t even explain it.

I basically realized then that you don’t have to be perfect all the time to make a difference in someone’s life. Seeing them singing Stars and Stripes and playing that duet…I don’t know, it felt like I had left a little bit of myself with them. Like a legacy. I don’t have to play all the right notes or do all the right things, I can just be myself. Those girls have certainly inspired me, as well. It makes me so happy.

Every once in a while, I get sudden reminders of why I love music so much in the first place. This is definitely one of those.

Music is fantastic…and THAT is all.

This was not a complaint. Hot damn.