Saturday, October 17, 2009

Book 7 Part 1: Music, Matt, The Fellowship, and Finishing.

Every sixth grader in my school district gets to make one decision regarding their electives when they start school: choir or band.

My oldest brother, Dave, chose band and played trumpet for his three years in middle school. My brother Eric decided to do choir and quit after the one year requirement was up. But when it was my turn, I knew what I would pick.

See, I am horribly bad at singing. I cannot carry a tune to save my life and I cannot hit notes. So it was easy for me to decide that I wanted to learn an instrument. When I was tested, the teacher told my mom that I would in better playing a brass instrument, primarily a low brass instrument like a baritone or a tuba. However, mom decided that since we already had a perfectly good trumpet at home that wasn’t being used, I would play that.

Being in band and learning to play a musical instrument has had a significant impact on my life. I met my fiancé in band and a lot of my fondest memories revolve around music. Even today Matt and I both play in a community band and love it.

Matt is more of a music nut than I am and in particular he loves soundtrack music. He can watch a movie and know within moments who the composer is—John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, etc. He just knows. It is a rare gift I think. And if Matt loves anything more than soundtrack music, it’s a good movie. Well, we both love movies, but Matt is far more insane about them than I am.

Enter the perfect birthday present.

Way back in July I was goofing around on Facebook when I saw an ad. Usually I ignore such things but this one was worthy of clicking. It was advertising an event surrounding The Fellowship of the Ring film and its soundtrack. After reading more, I bought two tickets for Matt and his birthday and resolved not to tell him until we were on our way there.

You can just imagine when on Friday how I excited I was to finally tell him what we were doing.

And he was very excited as well. And even more enthusiastic after the performance.

We went and saw the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. The performance we saw was a full score production of the soundtrack to The Fellowship of the Ring WHILE the film was playing. Basically we saw the film with live surround sound. There were cellos, violins, tubas, trumpets, and a huge choir on stage that played every note and sang every word that made up the soundtrack to the film.

In one word the performance was amazing.

For me, it combined quite a few things I love: Matt, music, movies, and of course, The Lord of the Rings.

This event was the main reason why I wanted to reread the books now, so I could be fully prepared to appreciate the story on the massive screen the spanned the stage.

It was also a great moment to revel in the fact that I finished The Fellowship of the Ring and was moving on to The Two Towers.

To be honest, I cannot put into words a good enough description to tell you how wonderful the experience was. Not only did I get to reflect on things I already know and love, I got to experience them with someone else I know and love.

It just goes to show that while sometimes stories and words can be a personal experience, they are in essence meant to be shared with the people most important to us. Only then can we really appreciate the beauty of what we have experienced.

*And yes, I am already in the middle of The Two Towers.*


  1. I'm happy to see that my making you take over playing the trumpet instead of a different instrument has led you onto your life's journey and finding your true love...
    Love, Mom

  2. Great post! I just finished reading the entire trilogy. I picked up an anniversary edition of the book and I thoroughly enjoyed it!