On May 9th at noon the SVS Music Corp gave its first concert since it was disbanded three years ago. I was part and parcel to the proceedings, being the only adult with the privilege (tech and mixer), and I got to watch all the trials and tribulations as they unfolded. I was bent on not being the helicopter adult picking up the slack for them but rather to let the chips fall where they may. After all, wouldn’t it be better for them to fail and realize their mistakes than for me to try to fix things for them? But as somehow always happens, the show came together beautifully and there were many stories of success across the board. And as always is the case, the SVS crowd showed unbridled support like no other school community.
The production didn’t go down without its struggles however. There was trouble with a lack of cookie ingredients on the day prior and people had to bake at home, the pizza was late and the stage manager had to stall the crowd, a couple of performers were late and the set list had to be juggled on the spot, but people took charge of the moment in a relaxed, SVS way and all of it just added to the immediacy, excitement and spontaneity of the event. There was incredible variety in the performances, a fact of real interest since it seems not long ago performers at shows pounded out the same few idioms. There was Hawaiian music with our youngest School Meeting members hula dancing, acappella RnB, folk acoustic duets, piano ballads, circus music supporting a physical feat, a pop sing-a-long, jazzy lounge, classical piano, original electronica, mandolin solos, Motown, original songs, and the list goes on. Every number seemed like a universe unto itself and each seemed a stone in the foundation of some larger thing to come.
There were people who came forward to make this happen, either by doing the work behind the scenes, accompanying a younger student in whatever song they wanted to realize, or braving the terrors of the stage for the first time. And many new people did step out onto the stage in a way that was personally inspiring to me. When I reflect on the pieces and the work that went into the show, I am struck by the collective consciousness, intelligence, courage, grace and organic beauty I was able to observe first hand.