Tuesday, August 1, 2017

An Evening of Music and Stories To Be Written

Ahrensburg Youth Symphony Orchestra

Last night, we attended a concert on the K-State campus presented by the Ahrensburg Youth Symphony Orchestra. In that word 'presented' is the word 'present' and, believe me, their performance was a 'gift' to the people in the audience. This orchestra, made up of 14-25 year olds from the Hamburg, Germany region, is on tour in the USA. They were so professional, so precise, and just plain wonderful. 

As the evening began, I quickly realized that there were many stories here that a writer could tap. The opening number was a combination group of the German orchestra plus members of our Manhattan High School Gold Orchestra. There had to be a story in the blending of the two.

The director of the Manhattan group is a professor emeritus at Kansas State University. It was announced that he would be retiring after this year. There was a story waiting to be told about Professor Littrell. 

The next series came from operas with a soprano soloist. She was introduced by the German conductor. He told about meeting her, admiring her and falling in love with her work. Another story to be written someday.

Another soloist moved her instrument to the front of the stage with a mover's dolly. She played the harp. At 17, she has won 1st place in German competition 4 years, beginning her journey with the harp at age 11. She mesmerized the audience but I could not help but wonder what she might have missed in her growing-up years with all the time devoted to her passion--the harp. One more story!

The German youth are here for 5 days and they are being housed in the homes of our Manhattan orchestra students and some host families from a church. How the students from two countries bonded with their common love of music would definitely be one more story. 

Another story I saw was in the selection of music the orchestra played. It went from classical to opera to movie themes. Who decided that? Which was the favorite? How did they select the individual pieces? 

I noted many families in the audience. Parents brought young children to perhaps inspire them to try playing a musical instrument. The silent message being--see what you can achieve with hard work. A story on parenting might be written using this example.

In a short two hours, I pinpointed many possible stories. So writer, look around you. There are stories galore. Use your writer's eye to find them. Take time to interview or talk to people involved and then start writing. I shake my head when writers say they don't know what to write about. There are stories swirling like a swarm of honeybees everywhere you go.

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