Orchestra Nostalgia

On Sunday my uncle organized a big family lunch in honour of my graduation. This was sweet. One does wonder why he chose Geylang (brothel capital of Singapore) for this joyous occasion, but gift horse, mouth, blah.

The Singapore Youth Orchestra concert I attended later with mum was an evening of many flashbacks. Before I joined the orchestra at the age of 13 my mother used to take me to its concerts. I was so small I’d have to perch on the edge of my seat in the circle and peer over the balcony railing to see the players. On Sunday there were alumni violinists in the orchestra I hadn’t seen since I watched them as a child – I couldn’t recognize their faces, but I knew them by their playing styles.

Then I joined the orchestra, and was lazy and never practised and sight-read everything and was, accordingly, a crap first violinist. Neither this nor the fact that I found it socially deadening apart from the very few people I found interesting (and who hopefully know who they are) should be obscured by surges of nostalgia. But when I think back, I remember how it felt to be part of a swell of sound, and that really does outweigh the nitty gritty.