|Commerce High School 2011 Concert Band from Commerce, Texas|
I had the delightful pleasure of visiting a little town last night and hearing an award-winning orchestra. The Commerce High School Concert Band of Commerce, Texas was one of only 18 bands invited to a state-wide concert and, after hearing them play, I’m not surprised that they were the only band there to get a standing ovation!
It was remarkable! Every pitch was perfect, the kids were confident, and the arrangements were very difficult. The local college, Texas A & M in Commerce, and it’s new music school certainly has a bumper crop of ultra-talented students from which to choose!
And the band isn’t the only thing that is going right in the town. They have a high school principal who knows the kids by name and even sends them notes of encouragement. They have a charming town center, annual festivals and talent competitions, city-wide awards, and the benefit from the university that brings in culture with theatre, art, and music.
It has it’s quirks, like the fact that everything except the Whataburger closes about 10PM, the middle of a play is announced as “half-time,” and wearing jeans or shorts to a formal concert is just a matter of taste. But the people aren’t the type to give off airs. They’re just people. Some are filthy rich; others are dirt poor. Some are brilliant; some are just barely getting by, but a visitor isn’t going to be able to tell the difference between the mayor and the delivery guy from Dominoes because both will offer a hand and a grin, and shoot the breeze with anyone that smiles and shakes back as a matter of course.
It’s no wonder these talented kids played so well, with such an amazing town supporting them. (By the way, their Booster Club did an OUTSTANDING job this year, too!)