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Classical Notes

AMATEURISM AT ITS BEST

Posted at 7:36 AM on April 3, 2007 by Rex Levang

From our classical-music host Gillian Martin comes this report of a concert she attended, and a question for readers of Classical Notes:

Okay, I don't get out much lately, that's true. But last Saturday night I was pleased to attend one of the most exciting evenings of performance I've experienced in a while: a high school talent show.

What made it so thrilling? Amateurism in its purest form. Performers taking the stage just for the sheer joy of entertaining themselves and each other. The occasional lack of even the most basic performance conventions (e.g., keeping your face towards the audience, not squinting into the spotlight) added a genuine suspense to the proceedings. I couldn't help but cheer wildly for every kid up there.

Are any of these teens destined for performance careers? Probably not, though some of them really had presence. Am I glad they had the chutzpah to get up and strut their stuff anyway? Absolutely. As my college band director used to say, "The arts can't always make you a living, but they can certainly make you a life."

What's the best amateur performance you ever attended?