Dan and I enjoyed one of our best evenings of 2019 last Monday.
Our six-year-old grandson, the one I refer to online as Shine, performed in his first piano recital.
The event was held at a beautiful residential center. The room sparkled with holiday lights.
The attendees consisted of about 20 performers; parents, grandparents, and friends of those performers; and several residents of the center.
Performers’ ages ranged from about 6, like Shine, all the way through late teens.
On cue, each young pianist introduced himself or herself, announced the title of the piece, sat on the piano bench, and played.
Every performance ended with a shy bow from the performer.
Some of the pieces played lasted less than a minute. Others, from the advanced players, were longer.
The audience was enraptured.
The spectators held their collective breaths and wished each participant nothing but complete success.
After each performance, the audience applauded enthusiastically.
When Shine’s turn came, he walked hesitantly toward the grand piano at the front of the room.
In a quiet voice he faced the audience, gave his name, and announced he would be playing Spooky Halloween.
I tensed, and tears filled my eyes as he seated his small body on the bench.
His teacher had instructed him to play his short piece twice.
Shine played Spooky Halloween once. Then he halted.
He looked at his mom in the audience. She gave him a smile, a nod, and a thumbs-up.
He then looked at his teacher, who also smiled, held up her pointer finger and whispered, “One more time.”
The audience listened to the song being played again.
Shine rose, bowed, and received an approving applause.
What a picture of the way life should be: Each participant doing his or her best at a chosen honorable endeavor, and everyone else applauding and encouraging.
All the pianists were outstanding. I would award first place to each of them.
But the grand prize I give to the supporting cast, the audience.
They were spectacular.
Each of us performs individually, but life is a team sport.