I was having a lame Saturday. I didn't want to stay in, but I didn't want to spend any money. I hopped on to the 'Things to Do Around Princeton" site and saw that there was a free concert at Rutgers. Good! I put out an open invite on Facebook to see if anyone wanted to meet me. No responses. Whatever.
I went out in crappy weather to Rutgers. It was the Rutgers Alumni Wind Symphony ensemble. I love watching live music. It's so moving to me So personal. Magical how a collection of notes could make something so beautiful.
I liked picking out the parts each instrument was playing. The flutes, clarinets, french horns, oboe, trombones, tubas, trumpets, saxophones. But I loved the percussion section the most. They all changed between different instruments, often within one song. Chimes, xylophone, various drums, timpani, cymbals, triangle, wood blocks, tambourine, jingle bells.
For the time I was there I forgot about the world and just focused on the music. Concentrated on specific instruments, then let my mind go to absorb the entire symphony play together. I watched the conductor wave his baton leading the ensemble, all connected to him keeping time.
My favorite part was the Christmas Finale -- a medley of Christmas carols that the audience was encouraged to sing along. At first I was shy and thought it was silly, but soon I was singing along and turning into complete mush. I was singing despite my teary eyes and the sobs stuck in the back of my throat trying to escape.
I was singing in a theater with a few hundred strangers, but there was a connection that I felt that I hadn't felt in a long time. It was strange, and comforting and beautiful. It was good to be a part of something, no matter how fleeting. It made the loneliness go away for a little while.