Monday, April 24, 2017

The Music of Spring (Via High Street)

The High Street Music Company has occupied this space at 135 High St. in Pottstown for 10 years now.

Yesterday Pottstown's own High Street Music Company held its Spring Recital at The Hill School's Center for the Arts, as it has for the past several years.

It will be the last time my son Dylan and his fellow seniors perform there as they are headed off to college next fall.

There were more than 30 performances so forgive me if I limited the videos I shot to those involving my son or classmates of his whom I have have known for years.

One of the things I have always liked about the recital is it features students at all stages of accomplishment and those students range in age from the single digits to adults making good on a promise they made to themselves.

It is also a good example of one of the things that makes Pottstown such a special community.

The school takes students from all over, but many of the Pottstown students who attend do so with the help of the Phoebe Sine Trust, a source of funding left by a Pottstown family who loved music and helps to pay the cost of the lessons Pottstown children take there.

(Here is Pottstown student Julianna Roseo giving an awesome performance of a song from "Hamilton" yesterday.)

Frankly, we could not have afford the saxophone lessons without the help of the trust.

And as a result, of the trust, High Street Music and the excellent music program in Pottstown's public school system, our son lives for music (even when taskmaster and company CEO Louis Rieger pushes them harder than they are used to being pushed).

(Here is Rieger directing them on the Eddie Harris piece "Cold Duck Time.")

Dylan plays in the Jazz Band and in the pit during the high school's last two musicals and is now enamored of "Hamilton," which combines his love of American history with his unanticipated love for musical theater.

A few months ago, he was walking through the house whistling tunes from "Little Shop of Horrors," usually after one of the rehearsals.

But he also loves hip-hop, jazz and (with a little help from his aged parents), some rock and roll as well.

(Remarkable vocalists Adeenah Smith and Erica DeBlase joined the Jazz Ensemble for this Alicia Keys number, "If I ain't Got You.")

At every college he has considered, among the first questions he asks about is the music program and what opportunities he will have not only to play and perform, but to get lessons and improve.

His pal, trombonist Kyle Kratzer, has taken it one step further and is going to school with the intention of becoming a music teacher himself.

(Pottstown student Gary Oberholtzer has a bright future as a guitarist and here demonstrates some of his range with his performance of a piece by Rob Scallon titled "For That Second.")

And while my wife and I love music as well and played it for him as a child, I truly believe that it was this town, and the dedicated professionals and volunteers who do their work here, which most fostered this love for music, something for which we will be forever grateful.

(The High Street Music Company Rock Ensemble performs "House of Gold" by Twenty-one Pilots at the conclusion of the company's Spring Recital.)

1 comment:

  1. Great piece on a terrific young man. Congratulations, Dylan, and a damn fine performance by parents as well.