SOPRANO! What image just came to your mind? I see a tall, majestic woman with glossy, piled-up hair, green eye shadow, and ruby lips curled into a haughty sneer. Decked out in sparkles and lace, she clomps around on six-inch black heels and "vocalizes" by screeching out high notes and murmuring strange syllables. She glares scornfully at those who marvel at her bizarre mating calls, then daintily sips water out of her pink leopard-print, BPA-free reusable bottle. Soprano. If that's what you think of when you hear the word "soprano," then you've never met my sister Hannah.
Naomi Harrow's blog
Music is not manmade. Man neither ordered the vast universe to resonate with frequency, nor taught little birds to chirp orderly songs. Rather, music is divine. Every musician is a member of the universe’s inherent song. On our instruments, we communicate feeling, emotion, and truth to the world. If music is truly heavenly, why do we act as if we created our own talent and inspired our own creativity? If music is a high and blessed calling, why do we reduce it to a means of approval and acceptance? If music is about sharing with others, why do we hoard it for our own selfishness?
Micah (far left) and his siblings after the concert.
The date was November 11th, 2012. The Hochstein Performance Hall echoed with a cacophony of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Every instrument was warming up with different clashing notes, scales and excerpts. One audience member described the wall of sound as "messy"; another proclaimed it "chaotic." But to Micah H, a ninth-grade percussionist performing in his first big concert, the hall resounded with anticipation. "I was excited but relaxed," says Micah. "I was looking forward to the music starting." The lights dimmed, and the hall hushed. For ten seconds, the orchestra members sat in silence, waiting.