This past Thursday I had the chance to attend a one of a kind performance that I would have no idea what I was missing out on had it not be part of my job to attend. I am extremely glad that I was able to sit in on Petar Maricís performance at Tilden Elementary Center.
Music has always been a huge part of my life. In fourth grade we were offered the chance to pick an instrument and be part of the school band. I donít really know why I picked the instrument that I did, but I ended up playing the flute with the school bands all the way up to graduation from high school. During that time, I was part of the various bands offered at the school, eventually picked up the piccolo as well, joined marching band, was even in jazz band and during senior year was the band president and drum major. Though I do not play nearly as much as I did during that time, I still enjoy being able to pick up the flute and play a song here and there.
Most of the time I tend to listen to my favorite artists or the radio, but I do enjoy discovering talented musicians even if they play classical music or their own compositions that may never be heard on the radio. Watching Maric entertain the young audience and seeing how much he clearly loved to play made the performance once I am certain to be talking about for quite some time. It did not take me long at all to start showing my friends some of the videos I have of the performance.
Sitting in the audience and looking around while Maric played was even more special. These young students were so focused on someone playing the accordion, an instrument that they probably never thought would hold their interest, and then asking where he got his instrument and wondering how to excel at playing was certainly a special moment.
We are at a time when you often hear of schools cutting arts programs and how those areas are beginning to suffer. It is refreshing to see how the school districts in this area are so behind the arts programs and show them such support. These types of programs give students a chance to learn important skills such as patience and working hard to accomplish a goal as well as giving them confidence and a chance to express themselves in a large peer group. Some of my fondest memories are not only from performances, but also from hanging out with my fellow band members before and after rehearsals. Sure there would disagreements and the usually section one upping, but it was a great experience that I would suggest to anyone. I would offer pretty similar advice with sports too as I also started playing soccer and softball when I was young and continued until graduation.
During quite a few of Maricís performances, the students would clap along and after when a class was still in the auditorium, they were dancing in their seats as he played a few songs while explaining the instrument to some of the staff. Even I had a hard time not focusing all of my attention on him when he would start playing a note. The way that he talked about the instrument and his experiences as a musician were also attention grabbing. When someone is passionate about what they do, it is noticeable. For the students to see the performance and hear the enthusiasm as Maric answered their questions made for a fantastic program.
It was not only the students who were enamored with Maricís performance, but every single person that came into that room during the program was glued to their seat and focused on the lone musician on the stage at the front. I would suggest that if you ever have the chance to see a performance that maybe you are unsure about just because you havenít heard of them or it might not be your thing, to just give it a chance because you may discover a musician and talen that you will be talking about for days after.
Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.