Friday, March 6, 2015

How the music of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra has Moved Me

How the music of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra has Moved Me
By Karen Paquin 
(Development Director, VSO)

The 100-mile move from Montreal across an international border to South Burlington is not biggest way that the Vermont Symphony Orchestra moved me.  Since I joined the VSO team just over six months ago, the Orchestra’s music that has moved me in very different, entirely wonderful, and completely unexpected ways.

In July, just before I began working, my family and I attended the Summer Music Festival Tour concert at Shelburne Farms.  What fun it was to dance to the big band sound of Benny Goodman and Glen Miller with my daughter!

In the fall, I was swept up in the picturesque composition, Before the Snow, written by Vermont native Beth Wiemann, and premiered during our Made in Vermont tour.  I closed my eyes as the music played and could actually envision an artist painting the stormy scene depicted in her piece.  It was a very cool experience.  I almost stepped into the painting myself to walk among the blowing, swirling leaves.

December brought Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.  I had never heard this piece before, but I knew the story behind it and, once I heard the music, I could see how it had stirred up so much controversy.  Hearing it live was amazing, but listening to it in the VSO jeep with Eleanor while driving back from our Brass Quintet and Counterpoint concert in Warren was truly surreal.  The road seemed to twist and turn to the music, forcing me to keep pace with it, to slow down.  As we merged onto the interstate, it was like we had to reach this point in our journey to stay in touch with the music as it rolled out of the stereo increasing its pace.

I was unsure that I would ever hear anything as impressive at Stravinsky.  But, then January arrived and with it, Elena Urioste playing Elgar’s Violin Concerto.  My eyes watered; I was so moved by her abilities… and I wasn’t alone.  Several people admitted to being moved to tears by the exquisite talents of this young woman.

This journey is just beginning and I am sure it will continue to move me through the incredible music that this orchestra of very talented musicians plays at every turn.