Sunday, July 8th, 2012
We are in Ravenswood, WV. Our concert was on Friday evening in the high school auditorium instead of the boat. It did not have the appeal that a boat would have, but it was much cooler this way. Here are my thoughts (and the facts) of the trip so far in West Virginia.
The people here are very kind and generous. I have been provided every meal since lunch when we arrived on Thursday. Housing was organized in advanced and we all had places to stay. I am staying with an absolutely wonderful woman named Carol, who has been extremely generous in all regards. She drives us everywhere, even though all the places we need to go are a few blocks away.
Organization of the music has been the usual: unorganized. I was yelled at from playing a part wrong in a piece, which I almost cried about because he kept nagging me that I was playing it wrong, even though I was allowing for the correct amount of rest, correct notes, everything. I was slurring. Just like my part told me. He said, “The score says to articulate every note!” Thankfully, Glenda stood up for me and said, “Her part has the section marked as slurred.” So then I crossed them off. He’s done that to others as well. The percussionists fight back though.
We taught at the school, actually others did. Bassoons and oboes go home because there were no bassoons or oboes to teach. I use the time to practice. However, the directors go and do something else during that time, and there were no teachers present, just random kids with instruments, so Camp Counselor Mike took charge and made an impromptu schedule. We are told to teach, but not given any guidance or organization.
The town was unorganized in getting money for the group and doing advertising. The people in charge of those aspects of bringing the AWSO to the town did not do their jobs. There weren’t many at the concert, but those who were there loved it.
Now, we were supposed to leave Saturday to go to Parkersburg, but Parkersburg postponed it until later. Boudreau consequently asked Ravenswood to keep us until Wednesday. They are mad about that and rightfully so. The families only wanted us for two or three nights, not a week. We have been trying to play around in the community. A bunch of chamber groups played at churches. We played at First Baptist Church. Yet another Sunday where I couldn’t go to my own church. I’m really sick of this. Boudreau said that he doesn’t get religion. He’s not religious, so therefor he sees music as merely entertainment for churches. I don’t think he understands that there are real reasons behind church music and that faith is a real thing.
The service had a call to worship, multiple prayers, including a prayer request session (which I never enjoy). We played “special” music, but it was just the Gigue movement from the Fine quintet. They had a time where everybody stood up and sang three or four praise songs in a row. Although nice and moving, you could replace “God” or “Lord” with “Mother Earth”, “Allah”, etc. This is why I generally don’t enjoy praise band music. There is very little substance to many of the songs. However, there are the exceptions that are fantastic laced with Christian dogma. The sermon was based on John 5 where Jesus healed the lame man at Bethesda. From the sermon I learned that this man was lame because he had done a specific sin to cause this and shouldn’t sin anymore so he doesn’t have any other horrific incident happen because of the sin. Oh, man. Every sermon I have ever heard in the WELS on this passage among all other times Jesus tells people not to sin is because it has a worse effect of going to Hell. Also, this man was not lame because a specific sin had caused it. Ailments are all here because there is sin in the world, but it isn’t cause-effect. The pastor did have a point that we should use common sense and know that if we are alcoholics, alcohol will probably destroy our livers, or that if we sleep around, we will probably contract venereal diseases. But some smokers never develop cancer, some people can eat as much as they want and never gain an ounce, some people murder and steal and get away with it. The sermon wasn’t focused on the eternal consequences of sin. The sermon told me that Jesus taught this man how to live a more comfortable life by following God’s commands. I would label this a works-based sermon.