Every single time, when I leave my child’s band or chorus concert, I ​have the same feeling inside — it is of Hope and Peace. These feelings are hard to describe. Most concerts, I am moved to tears when I listen to the music they have created, and it’s not simply because my kids are in the concert, I believe it is much more profound. Johann Sebastian Bach said that the aim of music is for the refreshment of the soul, and so perhaps it is my soul rejoicing at the beautiful and angelic music. It even rejoiced at the sometimes rougher concerts, especially the 4th grade orchestra!

I am thankful that I leave these concerts feeling refreshed and always with a smile on my face. It seems to be what I need to hear and experience at the end of a long and challenging day. I suppose it is like what so many have said, that music is the voice of God. The Divine meets me in the Niskayuna Auditorium a few times a year and greets me with a gift that is priceless and unparalleled to any other experience. I make a voice memo for each concert and will eventually convert it to a CD for me to have forever. I also find myself playing songs from the concert in my car when I am driving to capture those feelings of hope and peace.

In a world that seems increasingly tense, stressed, and on edge, perhaps we all need to go to our local school concerts and experience a transformation from angst to peace, as the Divine works through the voices and instruments that “babes” tenderly express.

I cannot offer enough accolades to the Niskayuna Music Department and to The Niskayuna Friends of Music. I truly am forever indebted to the music teachers and staff who help share a love and passion for music that is so beautiful, inspiring, and uplifting in my children’s lives. Thank you for not only teaching this, but living it.

Last Thursday, at my daughter’s chorus concert, the 7th and 8th graders sang a moving melody titled, “In December” by Jay Althouse. The closing lyrics have resonated in my heart and mind since the concert, “In December, this December, celebrate with peace and love.”

All human beings and all religions celebrate something special in December – Let us all make it a goal to celebrate peace and love “this December.” And in the darkness of the night, let us have the ears to hear the music of the Divine, who calls us to be a people of peace and love.

You should get to your next local school’s concert (whether you have kids there or not!); it will be worthwhile!