Music From Deep Memory

Can you remember the first sentence of your favorite book? How about the quadratic equation?

There is so much of our lives that we experience and leave behind, remembering for a short time or not at all.
Twice this week I’ve seen the power of music to transcend the limits memory.

Wednesday night I saw thirty of our thirty-four tour members join together to sing two pieces they hadn’t performed since July 12, 2014. In their brief rehearsal, they spun their wheels for about three minutes, then were off. The performance was easily in the 90-95% range of their peak 10 1/2 months ago.

Last Saturday I joined more than 100 Gold Company alumni onstage in Kalamazoo for the end of the Steve Zegree Celebration in Miller Auditorium. We sang two Gold Company standards – “Route 66” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” I hadn’t performed Route since 2001- Bridge I sing once a year, since we perform it as part of our Spring concert in Rockford. Both of them were so familiar that I remarked to a friend that “I could do a solo test in Dr. Zegree’s office right now.”

I would bet that there are easily 50 and probably over 100 pieces that I could perform credibly today with a bare minimum of rehearsal. The hours spent learning and practicing embedded them far more deeply in my memory than virtually anything else I have experienced. They become part of our core.

Music has such power in our lives.


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