“Just on my way to see my friend play at Carnegie Hall. No big.”
So reads my Facebook status from February 13. My friend Clif Brown, a classical guitarist whom I’ve known since our high school youth group days, accompanied Jung Hwa Park, a soprano, at a benefit concert in Weill Recital Hall.
I’m no musician myself, nor do I know as much about music as I wish I did, but my exposure to choirs and musical friends has taught me a little, and my appreciation for classical music has grown phenomenally in the past few years. Jung Hwa sang some beautiful classical pieces in German (my favorite), Italian, French, and Korean. Since I’m unaccustomed to listening to these pieces and completely unfamiliar with the languages, I paid attention only to the emotion conveyed by the performer and the music, glancing occasionally down at the printed translations. She also sang a few songs in English, including a bit from West Side Story. She was, obviously, Maria, and a Frenchman sang (and, yes, acted) the part of Tony. Her accent was quite pronounced in the English, but she was too adorable really for me to care. Her encore of “How Great Thou Art,” though not in English, particularly moved me.
I enjoyed seeing and hearing Clif play as well. I’ve not had much exposure to him as a professional musician, though he moved to New York to get his Master’s in performance at the Manhattan School of Music, currently teaches guitar, and plans to pursue a doctorate. My memories of Clif and a guitar primarily consist of leading us in worship on Wednesday nights and playing an acoustic “Gin and Juice” with the fellas afterwards. I’m delighted and honored to see him advance professionally, though.
So many of my friends are incredibly talented, especially musically, and I am blessed to be in a position to support them and witness their success. That’s right, my vicarious life is so much more impressive than yours.