Doane SWE in DC: A bittersweet symphony
There are no words to accurately explain what I felt as we took our final bow at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on Sunday.
I have never been so nervous yet confident, so in awe yet focused or so excited yet calm.
Doane's Symphonic Wind Ensemble played the best concert I have ever been a part of, and the fact that it was at the Kennedy Center made it that much more special.
The last note of "The Washington Post March" sounded beautiful—like years of music lessons, countless hours of practice, multiple clinicians, instrument upgrades and most importantly, personal growth all coming together.
— Doane University Music (@DoaneMusic) April 3, 2016
Playing in band over the last 11 years has helped me grow in patience, diligence, attention to detail, emotion, physical presentation and confidence. I'll stop there, but the list goes on and on and on.
With only two more concerts left in my collegiate career, both “senior-itis” and nostalgia are in full force. But at the same time, I just want everything to slow down.
I want more time to enjoy playing concerts. I want more time with my band family on a bus driving half way across the country. I want more time to savor the good memories that I’ve made with my friends at Doane.
Performing in the Kennedy Center for a large audience was definitely the highest point of my Doane SWE career, and will be incredibly hard to beat, even if I find another band to play with after college.
The only thing that will be able to top Sunday’s performance will be when I play the main solo in "Merrill Farewell" at the President’s Concert, my fellow seniors and I’s last concert as Doane students.
If you know what "Precious Lord" means to those who sing in Doane Choir, then I can tell you "Merrill Farewell" is SWE’s equivalent. This is the song we end each year with; the one constant song we can affiliate with the group and the last song we play at Doane.
The very first time I felt like I belonged at Doane was the very first time we played that song. A beautiful arrangement of the school fight song composed by the one and only Dr. Gilbert.
Of the 69 total SWE performances I will have been a part of at Doane, any member of my family will have been to 10 of them—that’s about one out of every seven concerts, and that’s not including jazz band, pep band or concert band performances, which is an even lower ratio. Not the most fun when you are rather fond of your family.
The moment after my last concert on May 7 will probably be the highest point of my time with SWE, but I can’t imagine by how much it will top this tour. I have been blessed to be a part of such an amazing group of musicians and friends for the last four years, and I am incredibly grateful for all the fun memories.
Being a part of SWE has given me experiences that I will be able to apply to life after Doane and is something I will never forget.