I forget from year to year.
Every year, our church is able to give thousands of dollars to aspiring young musicians. The scholarship was set up by a member who was legendary for music cultivation in our community. She wanted the name of her family to live on in the hearts and rhythms of life even after her death. And so, every year the call goes out to area high school students that they are welcome to come and audition for a Groth music scholarship.
They have to have a 3.0 grade point average. They have to want to make music and the sharing of it and the making of it as their vocational dream. And they have to be really dedicated by the ripe old age of seventeen or so. Because the competition is tough, and the challenge to rise to the top real.
Honestly. Reading the applications alone is enough to make a person weep. I do. Those of us on the selection committee are invited to see what it is these young music makers have done with their days. We find they have done amazing things. They have played in venues grand and in nursing homes. They have studied with music teachers and a 3.0 is no issue for them because for many of them there is a straight line of “A” in the grade column. They have played in churches and they have taught children and they have shared themselves and their gifts oh so generously.
Part of the audition is an interview, so we can get a sense of what it is they long to do with their music. The poise and passion shared is glory.
I think of the hours and thousands of dollars and bucket fulls of hope their parents have poured out in order for their children to practice their art. I think of the hours spent in solitude, rehearsing over and over scales and phrasing and technique when friends are calling and sloth is enticing.
What I want to say is this: the future is held by these young wonders, and we are in good hands. When I am tempted to forget, Groth auditions roll around and I am swept into the world of wonder once again. I like it there.