In Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Outliers, he makes a case for people who achieve outstanding things. He says “Most people may think that others are successful because they were born to succeed, or just got very lucky, but not in the way someone would think. Everything depends on the opportunity a person is given and how well that person utilizes that fortunate opportunity. Being successful also requires a significant amount of time of practice.” In fact he claims that it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice to become really proficient at something.
This week I’ve had the opportunity to hear two quite incredible concerts. Both were in the Gardner building at the University of Utah. The first was a given by two string quartets at Dumke Hall. Our darling niece Serenity Eyre was one of the extraordinary violinists. This terrific young woman got her start on learning how to buckle down and work with a paper route at 4:30 a.m. from the time she was a child all the way through high school. Together these young college students gave a concert that composers would be extremely proud of! I doubt that anyone has counted the hours but to get to that level of proficiency would probably be closer to 100,000 hours. It was astounding!
Last night we again had the rare privilege of being at Leon and Karen Peterson’s annual concert at Libby Gardner Hall which I can only say was truly a “Concert of Love”. Leon has been serving as the chairman of the board of the music department at the U for several years and treats he and Karen’s wide array of friends and family to a lovely dinner and a divine concert every year. This year it seemed that everyone in the audience felt that they had truly died and gone to heaven.
Leon and Karen who are great “music humanitarians” treated us to an event that we will never forget! Leon whom everybody in the audience dearly loves but who was not feeling well, nevertheless narrated the concert and introduced the performers as he led us through a musical journey that none in the audience will ever forget!
The concert started with the U of U band playing a stunning arrangement of America the Beautiful.
Two twelve years olds left us breathless with their incredible rendition on violin and piano of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (3rd movement).
From there we were entertained gloriously by the spell that music has as it lifted our spirits. The magnificent voices of the performers accompanied by piano and cello filled the hall to capacity and lifted us all to a different realm.
How grateful we are for the amazing good that music brings to our lives and to people who dedicate their lives to the magic of music!