dream come true


After thousands of lessons, years of practice and weeks of extra rehearsals, Concerto Night came in all it’s glory. Classical musicians aren’t like football players– their opportunities to perform are few and far between and are in front of a half-filled auditorium rather that a stadium of screaming fans. But last night was luminous, exultant, beautiful.


My hands shook with nerves as Ben’s took the stage. He’d worked so hard, for so long…


As he reached the last twenty seconds of the song after all the high passages, the long runs, the difficult trills– he knew he’d made it. He’d done it. And his face broke into a wide smile. His conductor knew it too.


Oh how I love this photo– the JOY! the reactions of everyone in the orchestra and the audience; the gorgeous blond violinist on the left.


After the concert (nearly 3 1/2 hours of music) the performers, orchestra, friends and family gathered in the halls. Everyone was absolutely giddy– they’d pulled it off! Over and over I heard the teenagers saying to each other, “I can’t believe we did it!” They had learned 17 concertos and played them with perfection– indistinguishable from a college symphony. And it wasn’t easy stuff– 12 minute pieces like Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” Tchaikovsky’s “Violin concerto in D Major” and Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole.”



For the next few hours we basked in the pure joy of a task well done– of hugs and compliments and happy tears. Next year, these kids will be scattered in conservatories and colleges around the country; but last night they played together, they played for each other with tired fingers and aching backs.

Ben was everywhere, flitting from one group of friends to the next. But every time I looked his way he was smiling.

and it’s a little out of focus, but I love it

p.s. thanks for cleaning the fridge, Ben. That made me pretty happy too.
March 29, 2010
April 2, 2010



  1. Linn

    March 31, 2010

    Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy.

    That last picture is tremendous!

  2. ashli

    March 31, 2010

    what a great young man!
    what a great payoff for his mom!

    i would have loved to have been there…truly. i love listening to music, especially played by someone i really like!

    p.s. i see both big boys could use a haircut. call me. i am home all through the break.

  3. Sue

    April 1, 2010

    This is really exciting stuff! My mom is a violinist, so I have a special feeling for that instrument. And I love getting to share these moments vicariously through your great photos and storytelling.



  4. Tasha

    April 1, 2010

    This brought tears of happiness to MY eyes. Your boys are radiant. You must be so proud. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Selwyn

    April 1, 2010

    Gorgeous, inside and out.

    The last shot is a stunner.

  6. Rachelle

    April 1, 2010

    Your kids are ALL so darn cute. I love your photography. Happy to hear their concert went well. What a proud moment that Ben did a solo. You captured it wonderfully. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  7. Tracy

    April 1, 2010

    So much joy!!! That is purely amazing!

  8. Kerri

    April 1, 2010

    Oh, Michelle, this just makes my heart happy. I know just what it takes to get to this place. It’s an ENORMOUS, HUGE, MARVELOUS thing. Ben’s smile is gorgeous, and I bet yours was just as big.

    Congrats to both of you, and to Ben’s teacher.

    SO EXCITING!!!!!

  9. Erica

    April 1, 2010

    this post totally put a lump in my throat. my little guy is only 1 1/2 but i already feel like time is going so fast – i hope that one day he can grow up and be as wonderful as your kids. serious, major lump in my throat!

    ps. i totally went to skyline with the darling Watts & White girls older sisters. (from your previous post of all the concert night finalists. such a small world!)

  10. Mathmom and family

    April 1, 2010

    Ben isn’t even my son and I had tears of joy seeing the pride on his sweet face. Congrats to all the kids for working hard to put together such a big performance.

  11. martha corinna

    April 1, 2010

    I’m always in serious awe of your boys. Can you please coach me?

  12. Claudia

    April 1, 2010

    I had to come Monday and Tuesday to catch it all. Both times I was overwhelmed at the feeling of camaraderie among these kids. What a sight to behold!

    Ben was fantastic! And you captured the night so perfectly! Well done!!

  13. Jan Russell

    April 3, 2010

    I cry everytime I come to your blog.


  14. Ken

    April 5, 2010

    Ben and Stefan,
    That memorable and magical evening will always be one of my fondest memories of you! Thank you for sharing your talents, diligence and determination. I shed tears of joy!
    Michelle, your photos are fantastic and captured the moments! Now I look forward to playing the CD over and over, to remind me of that glorious evening of beautiful music and wonderful young women and young men who performed with excellence. With love and appreciation,
    Grandpa Ken

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