Thank You, Orchestra
Downbeat. As the first notes of my high school career began to play, all I could hear was an expression of self-determination and fierce independence. High school was not the place for joy and laughter; it was a rigorous four-year boot camp that prepared us for college. But those harsh, accented notes became exhausting, and they began to falter when I began to encounter my first disappointments in high school. When I learned that my intent focus on academics failed to achieve the grades I desired, I was devastated. Those determined Martelé bow strokes quickly crumpled into a slow legato melody of lamentation and regret. That was when music first truly entered my life. With few friends, I could only choose to confide in music. Only music understood the anguish and frustration that overwhelmed my mind and soul. It was music that lifted me out of my pitiful stupor and gave me the courage to begin the next measures of life.
Modulation. For a while, I believed that music was the only companion I needed. Music knew just the right words to say, just the right melodies to sing. But if my naïve theory of self-reliance were true, why did the tears begin to flow more and more often, more and more quickly with each word? Why did I begin to feel more and more insignificant, more and more pathetic with each note? After two whole years of futile individualism, love and friendship rescued me from my cacophony of self-destruction. It was thanks to the Martin Symphony that my first true friends found me. It was the camaraderie of the Symphony that made me realize that though music is the master of empathy and understanding, it is friendship that heals and restores. It was their generous love that made me understand that though I could not change the tragic endings of the music with which I empathized, I could create a new future for myself. I could compose a new development, one of consonance and optimism, in my sonata of life.
Fermata. These are the notes that are written too short. These are the moments that you wish lasted forever, but the unforgiving tempo of life compels you to move on to the next measure of the symphony. I wish I could have stayed with my senior orchestra friends for an eternity last year. I wish I could have perpetually drowned myself in their songs of love and affection. But alas, they graduated. Alas, I felt the tears of disappointment and loneliness stream down my cheeks once more. But my first semester of senior year taught me that true friendship transcends distance and space. Though those friends were now at college, they were still my most reliable advisors, my most trusted confidantes, my very best friends. Even today, I still hear their sweet harmonies sing in my heart. The Martin Symphony bestowed upon me the coveted gifts of unconditional love and unbreakable friendship, and I know that this music of true companionship will ring as a fermata of affection for the rest of my life.
Coda. As high school draws to an end and this movement of my symphony ritards to the final notes of graduation, I can already hear the alluring melodies of college encouraging me toward the future. I plan to be a Business Honors major next year at the University of Texas at Austin, and though chords of indecision and fear currently resound in my mind, for I am torn between the career paths of medicine and college teaching, I know that these dissonant resonances will soon be resolved into a song of hope and excitement. The Martin Symphony has taught me that music is and always will be an important part of my life. Thus, as the conductor’s hands now paint an end to high school, I know that music will always be my guide, leading me to new friendships and new opportunities in the next movement of my life.