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Jan 062015
 

I recently had the rare treat of attending the Bartlesville Symphony. Each instrument on stage is comprised of hundreds of individual parts…metal, wood, reeds, string, wire, etc. Each part is crafted to exact specifications for the instrument to make it’s unique sound. Each instrument is played by someone who has studied and trained that specific skill for years. The pieces’ composer spends countless hours writing, rewriting, editing, second guessing, experimenting, adding, deleting, and otherwise fine tuning the notes written on the sheet music for each instrument before the final artwork is considered complete. Together, the orchestra has practiced hundreds of cumulative hours to bring that piece of music to life.

The finished work of art is so much more than the lengths of wire, inked dots on lined paper, or waving of a baton. Together, the experience evokes emotions in the listening audience…laughter, adrenaline, calm, tears, loneliness, rejoicing or a casserole of all of these.

Each marathon and each tournament reflects a similar gestalt. The whole is so much more than the sum of it’s parts.

To parallel karate and running, the fighters, course officials, judges, volunteers, time keepers, sponsors, instructors, coaches, registration workers, bag check volunteers, award passer-outers (yep, it’s a real thing), and paramedics work together. There are hundreds of miles logged, dozens of rounds fought, hills run, forms practiced, brackets printed, and awards made. Each event has a cause for which the figurative baton is waved. Not only is a charitable cause promoted and real needs met, but the event itself is often a notable day in the life of each participant.

I speculate that this is what makes the legendary “tournament/race day magic”. Although each sport is individual by nature, and there are some dark colors used (i.e. injuries and set backs), the symphony is a work of art. The frustrations and pain are quickly forgotten and the impression of one day is remembered fondly and fosters a sense of pride. Yes, we are a part of that masterpiece.

Music Director Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2011 European Tour


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