Well it's been a week since I said goodbye to the Masterworks Festival. Quite a busy four weeks of my life, but oh so worth it. I had the great opportunity to play some great repertoire...the following:
week 1: Brahms--3rd symphony; Respighi--pines of rome
week 2: Sibelius--2nd symphony
week 3: Ravel--Daphnis et Chloe Suite No. 2
week 4: Berlioz--Le Corsaire; Mahler--1st Symphony
The last week was quite intense with some heavy duty playing (Mahler....*sigh*) but what an incredible concert. So incredible we gave an encore! AND by the way, my girlfriend came to hear the final concert--Mahler and girlfriend in the same weekend equals EXTREME joy! :):) Quick story, so we're playing along in the last movement about to end the concert after a great night, and my very last note...very last note of Masterworks (high A for those who care), I totally clammed. Wow was I depressed. Talk about ending on a bad note! After three standing ovations, the conductor turns around and asks the orchestra if we want to play again. Almost everybody was shaking their heads "no!"....except me and a trumpet guy. Fortunately (and thankfully), we played the very last part of the final movement again, and boy did I nail that last note. Yes it did make me feel better.
All in all, though it was an amazing festival and I got to play some good trombone music, it was so much worthwhile on a spiritual level. I learned so much spiritually from fellow musicians about the Holy Spirit and my personal relationship with Him, that I can literally say the festival changed my life for that reason. God placed me in an incredible Bible Study with two amazing Bible Study leaders. Wow! we learned so much from each other and oftentimes we went past our time limit. But there were so many times, you could tell the Holy Spirit was working in our lives. And the best part too is these are musicians who are desiring to please their Audience of One--Christ. And this festival was not a second rate because it is a "Christian" music festival. In my mind, Masterworks is an intense ARTS festival that is training Christians to be excellent musicians but in a way that is honoring to God and God only. Soli Deo Gloria! It was so so neat to meet and talk with professionals who took to heart the phrase, "A Christian who happens to be a professional artist."
But what is exciting now is that even though masterworks festival has ended, Lord-willing, what has been learned musically and spiritually is being taken out across the country and literally the globe to share with others the Joy of serving an amazing God. What makes it difficult is that we are not surrounded around those people all the time. BUT we are surrounded by the Holy Spirit :) and with his Power, I'm praying that He will keep that desire and fire to look to Him for guidance and strength as well as a desire to please and honor MY audience of One! :)
J-man (Hebrews 13:21)