This guy is as awesome as he is annoying to me. I say that because we’ve known each other for so long now, almost 5 years. He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve known. He speaks his mind and having been around for as long as he has, he has seen more than his fair share. Me, more often then not, always being around, he’s come to me or he has directed others to me with issues, concerns, and observations; that’s what I meant by annoying, but not really. Because he’s been around so long and knows what should, or shouldn’t, or what ideally needs to be happening, he has taken the initiative on more than one occasion over the years and helped me making sure things are being done the right way and also by helping me get stuff done. I have always greatly appreciated his presence.
This girl is another long time member. She has an ability to be extremely focused and has a quiet, steady intensity I admire. Times that I’ve been on the field, I’ve had to dive into the pit or I’ll camp there for a bit for safety reasons, and I’ve invaded her space on more times that either of us could actually count. She’s always been cool with that and that’s been a great thing for me. Her music chops have definitely come a long way as have her performance chops. She’s a very strong individual, has her own sense of style and self. She tends to keep to herself, relatively speaking to the others in her section, but she definitely stands up for herself and will say what needs to be said, when it needs to be said, and always uses the best words to say it.
This section was a large ensemble of characters, and like a good recipe the secret to what makes it so good is not necessarily the main ingredients but the essence, the spices you add that make a good recipe a great recipe. That’s what this guy brought. He’s another member I’ve known for years. He’s been a hard worker and very consistent in his attitude and in his presence. He is always polite and respectful. He has a quiet charm and charisma. His musical and performance abilities have steadily increased over the years. He’s been a very dedicated member of the ensemble and he has always done whatever he can to make sure he contributes in a positive way.
There are always surprises each season for me as far as not only who will be there at the end of the season, but who is going to stand out with their achievement; this girl was one of those who did both. Part of the 710 gang, she was there early in the season. When I watched the pit during workshops and auditions, there were a number of very talented musicians and they sounded great early on. When the competitive part of the season arrived, that is when she, and the pit as a section, made a huge leap as musicians and as performers. That week of pit sectionals before everydays elevated everything she was doing as an individual and what the pit were doing as a section. A little known fact I learned that week about her too is she has an amazing singing voice.
Rare is the individual that is pure in their being, particularly at a young age. This guy is a musician. He played sax when I first met him. He has come a long way in a very short time as a person and as a musician. Part of the reason, I believe, he has made those improvements is that he has a number of excellent mentors. Another reason for exponential improvement is his personal desire and dedication, setting his own goals and standards of what he expects of himself. Whenever he achieves a given goal he quickly sets another, never resting on his accomplishments or patting himself on the back too long. His personality and the way he communicates with others, I believe, is leading him to be an outstanding leader and mentor for others to follow.
Gifted. That is what this girl is.Gifted. She’s playing an instrument now, and playing it very well, but she seems to be someone more than meets the eye. Shame on anyone that underestimates her in the future because of her size or age. Because of the opportunities she’s had as a member of music ensembles these past few years she’s gotten tremendous experience as a musician and as a performer, but more importantly she gained insight into how to, or in some cases, how not to work and collaborate with others. She definately seems to be enjoying the experiences she’s having being in a musical ensemble, but she also, I believe, has the talent, intuition, personality, and ability to be successful in whatever she chooses to do.