As many of you know, I’ve have had an… oh shall we say “interesting” last two years of ensemble experience. I thrive off making music with a group of passionate musicians but to say that my most recent ensemble experience was lack-luster and uninspiring would be the understatement of the century. In truth, my time in Ann Arbor, in regards to music was the furthest thing that I would have hoped for in my music career. How can you truly invest in something if every fiber of your being isn’t passionate about your craft? I, in absolute terms, lost all passion for music.
But in all honesty, losing my passion for music wasn’t a bad thing ( Hindsight is 20/20.) I was driven directly into the open arms of what was the Michigan Gymnastics “scene.” I dived in head first and joined the Michigan Club Gymnastics team. Part of our duty was to volunteer for the Varsity Women’s Team. As in everything I do in life, I never settle. I wanted more. So I took a chance and emailed on of the coaches for the Varsity Men’s Team asking if they needed a volunteer and they happened to have a paid position open.
Through that one email, I got to work my first major championships, watch the team I worked for win a national title at home, and make an amazing connection that allowed me to begin working with USA Gymnastics.
But my gymnastics experience didn’t end there. I began coaching at a local gym where I met my best friend (Hey Kay!). That led to me to working at Camp Laurel this past summer in Maine! I met counselors and kids that changed my life forever. This camp also gave me the resources to allow me to make this trip to Germany.
I can’t say that losing my passion for music was a bad thing because I’ve been given so many incredible opportunities because of it and I wouldn’t trade these past two years for anything.
At the end of the summer, my nose was broken and I was unable to play my clarinet at all. And then at the time I was able to play again, I needed to have surgery which again prevented me from playing at all. Instead, I began playing the piano again, (my first love you could say.) I started itching for music again. I never played the clarinet again while in the States and it was a blessing in disguise.
My friends here in Stockholm ( Amanda and Carl,) play in a small community band. They asked me if I wanted to go to rehearsal and I said sure! I was invited to play and it was exactly what I needed. The rehearsal was amazing. It’s truly incredible that you can sit in a rehearsal and not actually understand a word of what’s being said, yet understand absolutely everything at the same time. While I don’t know the Swedish word for crescendo, I do understand when the director looks at a section and sings the part and gets progressively louder while waving his hands up towards the sky.
We played Beauty and the Beast and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. I had the time of my life playing in this small ensemble with people who didn’t even speak my language but whose playing touch me so much!
Those forced two months off prepared for me to fall in love with music again. Part of my hope for this trip was for me to be inspired to play again. I was hoping that being in Germany, where cities are overflowing with music history, would touch me. Little did I know that it would be a small little band ( or as they say here, orchestra,) would start that spark.
I can’t tell you where my life is headed. I have two incredible thriving passions ~ music and gymnastics ~ and I don’t know how they will play into my life in the future. But I know now that I don’t want to be without either one!
Thanks for reading.