Letters to the Editor for March 26th, 2008
Athletes talk about the rush of running out of a tunnel onto the football field before 100,000 screaming fans, or running out of the dugout to start a baseball game.
Being a former athlete I know that rush very well. On March 14 I attended the Alabama All-State Choral Concert at Leslie S. Wright Performing Arts Center on the campus of Samford University. We arrived on campus, parked the car and right away there was a sense of excitement. We went inside, found our seats and later found it was a packed house.
After I observed others sharing their excitement about the event and parents looking for their children, there was an announcement to stand for the National Anthem. The Middle School Treble All-State Choir had taken the stage and the house stood up to honor our nation.
At &8220;Oh say,&8221; I knew I was in for something special that night. There was one hymn I will never forget &8220;Jordan&8217;s Angeles.&8221;
The conductor was Jeffrey Redding, who has many accomplishments, but on this night he appeared to be a conductor just having fun by working with the kids and showing how proud he was of their accomplishments. He was swaying and throwing his whole body into the piece as were the kids swaying to the hymn. They hit every note and annunciated every vowel.
When the hymn ended and the conductor lowered his arms, the building erupted, a standing ovation as if Joe Montana was back and Dwight Clark made another great catch.
That was it, the rush was back, and those kids felt it. That is what it feels like to run on the field before 100,000 screaming fans.
Congratulations to all of the All-State participants, and especially to my daughter Sarah M., you will never understand how proud I am of you. Everyone should experience the rush of running on the field or the rush of a standing ovation for whatever your talents might be.