Andrew DuganThis article written by Andrew Dugan, Area 9 Membership Chair

As I am writing this article, I am sitting on pins and needles awaiting the next installment of Star Wars (cue the music), and of course, the cable channels are all running the previous episodes of the legacy. I just happened upon Star Wars: The Phantom Menace the other night, and this was the quote that stopped me in my tracks:

Qui-Gon Jinn: Don’t center on your anxieties, Obi-Wan. Keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: But Master Yoda says I should be mindful of the future.
Qui-Gon Jinn: But not at the expense of the moment. Be mindful of the living Force, my young Padawan.

As a ringer, director and, human being, I believe that sometimes in our rehearsals, performances, and daily lives, trying to anticipate the unexpected, when we just need to be focusing on the here and now. There is always the fear of who will get sick, who will not be prepared, will I be prepared, etc. But, we know from years of experience (and the heartaches) it will all work out in the end.

As both ringer and director, we practice, rehearse and prepare the best ways we know how, and at some point, we must remember we are prone to mistakes and to expect the unexpected. If we spend all our time on the “what will go wrongs,” we will be expending valuable time on the unimportant and missing the big picture. Once we have given our all to the rehearsal and performance, we need to step back and evaluate. Was music being made? Did it bring enjoyment to the ringer and the audience? Did I meet my personal goals within the performance? Was it worth it in the end?

So, my young padawans, stay in the moment and do not let the anxieties of the future cloud the present living force of Music. May your rehearsals and performances of the new year be filled with glorious and soul moving moments.

May the Force be with you.