(Psssst! I know I wrote about music yesterday, but after writing that post, this one just kind of spewed out. And since I haven't really been doing any very serious writing lately, I was kind of happy about it...so, yeah, I'm still thankful for music! And for dreams.)
Whenever I walk down the hall near the practice rooms in the music building, I have to smile. Hearing the disjunct sounds of pianos, oboes, violins and vocalists playing Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg and scales transports me back to the catacombs of the HFAC, where I lived and practiced in my own college days. Some people might cringe or cover their ears at the discordant medley of notes, but it is one of my favorite sounds in the entire world, and I could sit and listen to it all day.
I am in the music building often because I am blessed enough to be able to teach adjunctly. Even though I only have a few University students, I love being there, because it reminds me of the dream I had once upon a time. Yes, once upon a time, I dreamt of becoming a star on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, or at the very least, San Francisco or Chicago. I wasn't going to get married or go on a mission or anything like that until I at least had a masters degree. I was going to sing professionally if it killed me.
Every day for several hours, I would sing my Concone and my Marchesi, my 24 Italian Songs and Arias, my german lieder and my french chanson. I did it in my assigned practice room while a pianist next door pounded out a difficult concerto and a tuba player across the hall blared loud and low. That crazy, noisy, wonderful hallway was my second home and I am sure I spent more time there or upstairs on the slab studying theory and music history than I did at my apartment. Such is the life of a music performance major.
It's a wonderful life.
But even a wonderful life has a way of taking a different direction than you planned. When the Spirit kicks you in the pants and tells you you must go on a mission, you go. So, I did. I'm glad I went, but when I came back to the United States, I had developed some unforeseen vocal problems that really inhibited me for a while. I was discouraged as I prepared for my senior recital, and felt like I could never be accepted into graduate school because of the issues I was facing. My dream was dying, and was eventually shelved as I forged onward to complete my degree and then pursue other things.
One of those pursuits was marriage. Two months after graduation, Joel and I began our life together. He immediately started on his masters degree, the first step in following his own dream of becoming an orchestra conductor, while I taught voice lessons and stayed home with our beautiful children. It was a great arrangement, really. And somewhere along the way, I realized my dream was not entirely dead. I would have to change the details a little, but I could still keep it alive.
Today, I keep that dream alive by singing in my community. It's not a big community, but it is an artsy one with plenty of music going on all the time. I was explaining to Joel why I insist on singing in choir and auditioning for solos and doing recitals and the like. It's because I need to hang on to my dream, even if it's just a tiny piece of it. It might not be New York or San Francisco, but I'm okay with where I am, although I often feel a twinge (or an avalanche, depending on the day) of jealousy when I look at some of the amazing things my college peers are doing now, like auditioning in New York or actually winning the National Metropolitan Opera Auditions. My dream has transformed itself to accomodate my life, but I am still lucky enough to sing on the stage and bless the lives of others as I share my God-given talent with the people of southern Utah.
And that's why I smile as I walk down the practice room hallway. Because I don't hear random snippets of music being played by various instruments. No, what I hear is promise and potential being bowed and blown, strummed and sung, plunked and piped into one beautiful concert of hope.
It is the sound of dreams.