Sunday, June 28, 2009

822. Gospel music, part 1

(She doesn't write for weeks and then comes back with a post called "gospel music"??)

Don't worry, I didn't do anything major in the interim like switch religions. But I did have an incredible non-synagogue singing experience last week. I went to an amazing high school and we just had an, ahem, significantly-numbered reunion. The school--including its other half, about which the movie FAME was made--got a new name and building a few years after I left. FAME was shot the summer after I graduated and the last scene, the grand musical extravaganza, featured all my friends in the chorus and orchestra--but not me, since I was an art student and so wasn't allowed to sing at school, or audition to be an extra.

The movie, despite being loosely based on all of us, is definitely a work of fiction. I recall no wild lunchtime dancing in the street and doubt this ever happened at Performing Arts, either. (Cars in New York in the late 70s would have most likely run down crazy kids who tried to leap over traffic in the middle of Broadway.) But we loved the movie just the same. It captured the feeling of being immersed in the arts in a completely accepting environment, where it was cool if you liked Bach or Shakespeare, or was an artsy nerd who dressed in spike heels, vintage 50s skirts, and a bright green band jacket (like I did). We admired one another for our abilities rather than the amount of money we could afford on shoes. There were no bullies. Music and Art was the bridge that helped me grow from a child shy about using my talents into a young adult thirsty to develop them all, whether or not they were in style according to the rest of the world. It changed me from a follower into an individual, into myself.

( Continued here.)

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