More Music, Please

Craig Gemmell
Head of School

I had an odd walk in the early morning over to school meeting; I was particularly fretful as I headed over in advance of the crowd of kids and adults to unlock doors, turn on lights, and fumble through setting up technology any six year old could manage. Somehow, before heading over, I thought to ping Andy Campbell, our Director of Music, who has real gifts at the piano and in vocals, and ask him if he would ever play something to wrap up the meeting since we were into some heady topics.

Sensing the mood, he played the instrumental portion of Clapton’s Layla so beautifully and then laid into Elton John’s Tiny Dancer as kids headed off to first period.

Interesting.

As Andy played – showed his range – about 20 of us staved off the future and listened. Andy’s partner Guinevere sat down next to him on the piano bench and sang along. Junior Neil Woodall got up on the stage and circled around them, seemingly wanting to join in and did so only after being asked. Faculty member Alicia Childers started belting it out, too. I and others just sort of watched it all. I actually stopped moving, stopped doing for the first time in a number of days.

Time tends to move quickly here, as do all of us, and the bells ring to keep time. Kids Snapchat even when they don’t have time to breathe. Adults ascribe to the rhythms of the school, metered out in our rainbow-colored schedule. And like most schools, little quiet really happens.

But I saw a eclectic bunch grab a noisy moment of quiet today, after what has proven to be “one of those stretches” in this odd little place so many of us call home.

I had a meandering walk back to the Academic Building. I saw the lake for the first time in weeks – literally – really saw it and didn’t just glance through it unaware. I actually heard the traffic on Main Street. And the rising warmth from the sun registered on my cheeks.

Thanks, Andy, for getting at least a few of us back to our senses.

On my to-do list: more music; we need the quiet that it brings. Winter’ll be all the better for it.