Robin's Blog

Member Robin Davis writes about GMMTA Events

April 7th, 2018

GMMTA Local Auditions

The frost in the air this April nipped our toes. The grove of dogwood trees whipped up a white flurry of branches in protest. But the music students’ vitality warmed our hearts. They were eager. Piano, violin, and flute students set up a clatter in the halls of Second Baptist. More than 100 students attentively towed the mark to find the right place at the right time, and they more than minded their manners in doing so. They were champions, I thought, bright and beaming go-getters. Our students, looking younger than ever, are gaining poise and musicianship with each passing year; their smiles belied their chirping about messing up on playing their piece. It was a good day.

Judges and teachers, and a few well-connected students also, were ready for lunch at noon. Susan Gambrell manned the fort, I mean, the kitchen, and planned tasty hot soups, which sure hit the spot on a cold day. A selection of hearty sandwiches stretched as far as possible to hold out for a judge running late. Robin Davis and Laura Triplett’s daughters supplied willing hands to support Susan’s own. By 1:30, Susan had the whirlwind whisked away into SUVs, her hard work of breakfast and lunch service complete. Doilies and rose-bud napkins set a gracious table and we gathered there with friendship. Thank you, Susan.

Laughter and smiles of the occasion lifted away the shiver of the early morning hurry in cold winds, colder than we had dressed for. Lugging around food and trays and breads and cakes, and all other good things, was worth it, one more year, as we celebrated the challenge of our children growing up to be musicians.

October 21, 2017, Morning

  • Pumpkin Patch Recital, Student Recital • Julia Pilgrim, director • 2nd Baptist Church, Memphis, TN

Ghosts and Goblins were settling their wings and gathered at the pianos. It was time to begin. As a surprise strong wind blew against them, these ghosts and goblins fluttered their wings, sheets of music held securely beneath their elbows. Clutching both, they held tight.

Sixty or so incognito bandits, age 5 to 13, took the driveway stage and wowed the audience with their tunes. Neighbors and grandparents came to witness the command event: “Be there … or else” and certainly they were. Mothers cradled babes in arm, grandmothers comforted small princesses, lots of princesses; a father reassured Batman that no one knew him.

Before the stroke of 11:00 (AM, to be sure), with pixie dust in the goolish gusts of wind, and helter skelter, small creatures were transformed. Each princess and power ranger became a pianist, a musician, a better one than ever, and we teachers nodded. All was good, and getting better. Their stroke of genius came forth on the humble pavement and the novice music lovers played piano like champs, riding the wind and not stiffled by it. They stayed and listened to their buddies, and played again if a break in the pageant allowed this impertinence.

Courage and excellent piano-playing marked the day. Parents gave thumbs up, high thumbs up, when Princess eyes looked their way. Better than ever, they said. Parents had seen their Princess Leia standing quietly and thinking before her turn. Good for her. Good piano-playing is serious business. Music and Magic transformed us all.

The church pillars of Second Baptist, Chuck Taylor and Circle Music, and congregation supporters scored top marks sponsoring this event. A big crowd came to buy pumpkins, take pictures, and play games. A swing set, tailgate refreshments, and more spread out over the spacious church grounds. Founded by Julia Pilgrim, this recital once again highlighted the fall season of piano lessons, and we look forward to next year’s Ghosts and Goblins. All were rewarded for their attendance at The Pumpkin Patch Piano Recital Extravaganza.