Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Turn On the Music

“When I was a student, classical music was not many people's cup of tea,” Andrew told us at our weekly gathering this morning. “In fact,” he said, “when my art teacher, a classical music enthusiast, wanted to form an orchestra in the school, nobody was interested.”

But Mr. Matthews coaxed and tantalized the boys by playing a classical piece on a turntable and relating the story described in the music where scenes and emotions were painted with sounds and tempos and varied instruments. The boys were able to  distinguish the sounds and emotions and to hear the merry-making at a wedding banquet, the sadness at a piece of tragic news, the sounds of a storm with winds and rain, thunder and lightning.

La Salle School Orchestra, courtesy of Andrew

Suddenly, they were captivated and classical music was no boring mambo-jumbo but something they could appreciate. Mr. Matthews was delighted to gather a big group of students eager to learn how to play musical instruments. Thus the first school orchestra in Sabah was born.

“That was 47 years ago,” Andrew said. “But I didn’t think this grandfather is too old to pick up where he had stopped when he left school to get a job. So I rekindled my love for the violin and started taking lessons from Mr. Ross a year ago.”

Ross and Andrew showing off their skills
Accompanied by his 21-year-old music teacher, Mr. Ross Cheow, Andrew showed off his repertoire today beginning with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star all the way to You Raised Me Up and Silent Night!

Ross said Andrew had been a good student. He, too, showed us what he could do  although he shook his head to show he didn’t recognize any of the old songs the oldsters had asked him to play. When we thought it was almost time for refreshment, one of the retirees couldn’t resist showing off his skill with the violin. We could feel his enthusiasm as he played, somewhat stumbling at first, but after warming up he played very well indeed!

We had a great time listening to the music. Those who had decided not to turn up today didn’t know what they missed! Tra-la-la..

 I believe doing something we’re passionate about feeds our souls and gives us a deep sense of satisfaction. For some people it is music. For others it could be anything from art to sports to collecting shoes. For me it’s playing with words. What’s yours?

1 comment:

  1. Wow!!! That was fast reporting and thank you very much my dear friend. I owe you kiok lunch!