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The Score of an Evening

Jul 25, 2011 11:20PM ● By Anonymous

There were three concerts total. One at the Music Center at Strathmore, one at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and one at Oregon Ridge. The way my schedule worked out, my only possible option was at Oregon Ridge. In retrospect, I'm so glad that was the case.

I got to Oregon Ridge around 6:30. It seemed to be the perfect time. As I walked up the hill to the field in front of the stage, I took a glance behind me, and noticed a steady stream of traffic into the parking lot. Phew--close one.

It didn't take long to find a great spot to sit. Far enough away to see the whole orchestra, but not too far that they were just formless dots. No giants seated in front of me, far away from the view-blocking sound tent, and plenty of room to picnic.

With about an hour until the concert started, I tucked into my food and admired the scenery. I'd never been to Oregon Ridge. It's just beautiful. Trees cover rolling hills, which look out over grand houses. Grass grows between your toes, and, that night, children with glow sticks ran, danced and skipped. How very picturesque.

I had just finished wrapping up my mixed-berry cobbler, when the BSO took the stage. Violinists, trumpeters and percussionists all decked out in black and white filed in after one another. Cheers erupted from the audience.

Soon the conductor, boy-wonder and Severn native, Andrew Grams, stepped in front of them. (His all black attire plus a pair of red Chuck Taylors was a really nice touch on his part). He lifted his baton. I inched forward on my lawn chair. The horns began. Soon the symbols, and then the strings--the theme to Superman. I grinned, and sat back.

Throughout the concert, the BSO performed pieces from Maestro Williams' biggest hits. Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, E.T., Star Wars--they did 'em all. They even touched upon some of his lesser known works, like a piece from The Terminal.

Every now and then Maestro Grams would add a few personal touches. Like the fact that he saw Jurassic Park for five weekends straight when it first came out. Or that he cried all the way through E.T. (Though really, who didn't?)

With every tune, I just got happier. It was exciting, encouraging, and, once the sun went down, a blessed break from the brutal heat. And, having not been to a BSO concert since I was a little girl, I couldn't get over the quality of their sound. My expectations were high, but they exceeded them.

Alas, it soon came time for Maestro Grams to bid the audience adieu for the evening. The BSO had done their time, and they'd played everything we wanted to hear. Or had they? I heard semi-frantic mumblings from the crowd. What about Indiana Jones? Were they not doing Indiana Jones?

I smiled to myself, feeling in on the secret. Of course they'd save it for last. Maestro Grams said good night, and turned his back to us. And then it began. As the musicians performed, I couldn't help but hum along. I have a sneaking suspicion I wasn't the only one.

Soon, the BSO entered the song's final measures. A little glum at the impending end, I started to frown. But then, to my right, a boom and a flash of light! Oh my gosh, I thought, I'd forgotten about fireworks!

And they were beautiful. So lost in them was I that, by the time I looked back at the stage, the orchestra had all packed up and left. I wish I could have given them another round of applause.

But, alas, I couldn't. So I'll thank them here:

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,

Thank you for one of the most genuinely fun nights of my life. I'll see you again soon.

Your pal,

Karly Kolaja