I count myself extremely fortunate that I grew up in house with live music; piano playing, button box, singing. There were a couple of bands in the family. There was always singing. At the end of the night down at Slovene Center a group of people hanging in the bar would sing in four part harmony. We kids were in the school band. We sang in the church choir and every Sunday we heard live music performed by members of the community – the organ, the choir – sometimes cheesy music, sometimes classical, sometimes tied to our ethnic background, but LIVE and performed by ourselves or people we know.
If it were not for your local parish, how often would you hear live music performed? It doesn’t necessarily have to be great music and often isn’t (although that certainly helps.) Most of the time we hear music recorded at some date and played at a million venues numerous times a day. How blessed we are to hear real music every Sunday!
There is a fear that “local music” is disappearing. Everything is recorded, sent, and played ad nauseam. Weakening is regional food, local dialects, and quirky regional flavors that make being in a certain town different and interesting. (Less and less are the words “devil strip” used in Akron.) Too soon it will be Miley Cyrus, McDonalds, Gap, and “tree lawn” from coast to shining coast.
In this snowstorm of blandness there are little fires of hope. I will grant you that often they are not great fires, barely able to offer warmth and to the extent that we can, we should fan these flames into something great. But still, they are there. Perhaps one of the only places where people in such numbers gather on a weekly basis (save for school if your levy passes) to both hear truly live music and are encouraged to participate in it.