The BBC Goes Classical April 23 2015
Spring has finally sprung in Lunenburg. Brown grass has appeared and the crocuses and daffodils are desperately trying to peak through Fall’s moldly leftovers and the stubborn patches of snow that refuse defeat.
No more metal shovel meets pavement morning alarms - it is nothing but hungry chit chatter for the early birds from now on ... or for now. It has been a long wait for this thing called spring and for me, the season truly flipped last Wednesday. The sun was blazing and it was an unusually hot day. Snow banks still formed the old town's backdrop but that didn't stop us Lunenburgers from bravely stuffing our swollen winter feet into flats without socks. A little too excited to see the sun, perhaps?
Last Wednesday was also Bozzy Book Club Day, giving us even more reason to smile because we were meeting for a fun, musical themed book week.
We did not bombard the Boscawen Inn as we usually do. Instead, we trudged up to the tip of Lunenburg where the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP) was set to host the bozzy kids and parents in the Old Lunenburg Academy.
The old academy is Lunenburg’s beauty queen – tall, gorgeous, haunting and intimidating at once. She also boasts an amazing campus with a playground, community garden plots, and (what we all found out on the eve of our BBC meeting) the soon to be relocated Lunenburg Public Library. How exciting is that for a brood of bookish kids!
The kids climbed the old steps to LAMP’s third floor auditorium and assumed their spots as Judy read the first musical book, The Man With the Violin by Kathy Stinson - an award winning book that is beautifully illustrated by Dusan Petricic and based on the experience of world renowned violinist Joshua Bell in a Washington subway.
Bell and his violin went to a subway station to perform magnificent pieces while people rushed past with little notice. They were oblivious to this musical genius performing free of charge. In this fictional retelling, a young boy in the subway station is moved by the music that he hears while his mother, too busy to stop and listen, hurries him away. Dylan eventually opens his mother's eyes and ears to the magic of Bell's music, reminding us all to slow down and open our souls to the beauty that surrounds us.
Hmm, I think that this is a familiar theme to me ... reminds me of a little book that I once wrote. Who doesn't love when the wisdom of an innocent child reveals worldly truths?!
During the reading, LAMP’s artistic director Burt Wathen took his own bow to viola and added some inspiring mood music to bring the story to life. Judy was practically brought to tears!
Then came this lovely quartet of vocal talent, expression, and enthusiasm - Pasquale Arcamone, Brendan Daly, Rachele Tremblay, and Suzanne Rigden, accompanied by LAMP's resident pianist Walter Delahunt.
The voices of LAMP's vocal residents filled the auditorium, mesmerizing the kids and leaving the parents awe struck. I must admit, I was a little nervous about letting 30 kids loose in a classical music performance space, but they ate it up. Some could barely contain their love of the music and just had to swoop in with their own interpretive dances.
Fittingly, LAMP's soprano and mezzo soprano performed a theatrical feline rendition of Gioacchino Rossini’s Cat Duet. How paws-itively purrr-fect it was!
We capped off our book club session at the academy playground. Snow did not stop these kids from stripping off their overcoats for some unencumbered climbing, swinging, hanging and sliding into spring.
Thank you to Susan Corkum-Greek and Burt Wathen from LAMP for teaming up with the Bozzies for the afternoon and the outstanding performers for their wonderful musical stories. Parents are still boasting about the amazing afternoon we had at book club last week and I am sure that you will see many of these faces back in those seats.
Next week, we will be invading the library, still in its current location on Pelham Street. Beth Ann Knowles, Bozzy mama and aspiring children’s writer (aka The Winter Beard), will be joining us to share stories and crafts with the kids.