Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Going Home

Everyone has a place which is called home.

For some, it is a place where one rests his head at night not thinking where it might be on the morrow.

For others it is the place where one lives, knowing that, barring tradgedy, it will be there.

There is a third place called home; and not many people have it.  It is a place where one retreats from time to time.  It is a place which helps to recharge and energise the mind and the imagination.   It is a place which exists more in mind than in reality, but is really there.

I attended my 45th college reunion last week.  It is held in Princeton, NJ, leading some people to assume that I am a Princeton University grad.  But no, I am not.  It is held at a little college, which is now become the golden stepchild of a major university.  Many have heard of Rider University, but not many have heard of Westminster Choir College of Rider University.  They should.  You should.

It is located at the intersection of Hamilton and Walnut Streets in the town of Princeton.  It has a brick gateway leading up a shrot curving drive to the main building, Williamson Hall.  It is named after the founder of the college, a man known as a fine musician and choral conductor.

Why is this such a special place?  Because there is always music there.

If you stand in the middle of the Quadrangle in the wee hours of the morning, they say you will hear the distant echoes of all those singers, pianists and organists. and music educators who have passed along the Quad on their way to and from a class, or a lesson, or a choir rehearsal.  Much more than the sheer numbers of people, though, is the level of achievement  exemplified by those people.  There are few students to this day who are not better than average.  And a few of them show signs of genius.

What does this have to do with home?

The Choir College is one of those places which exists primarily in the mind.  It is a place of bright red robes.  It is a place of bright faces waiting for the downbeat.  It is a place far removed from the mundane.  It is a place back to which we all wish to go to recharge those worn batteries: to emerge full of life and hope.

Full once again of music.


just doing the Charleston...