The Power of a Note is a creative piece I wrote about how my musical experiences impacted me when I was at Chantilly High School. Show choir was a huge part of my high school career and I loved going on stage to perform when ever I was given the chance. Chantilly Show Stoppers practiced every day and was voted as top show choir by Parade Magazine back in 2011.
The Power of a Note has been published in JMU’s English Honor Society Magazine, The Literary Itch Spring 2017 Edition.
11 February 2016
The Power of a Note
I am standing under the dim lights in a room with white walls when I think back to my most passionate performance. I can remember inhaling slowly, taking in a breath of air. I gently raised my eyes to the center of the auditorium where I observed the clock that had always rested in the back. The whole auditorium was covered in a shadow of darkness but I could gradually make out the outlines of the audience. Bodies filled the room and I could feel the heat of three hundred people rising on stage. The spotlight beamed down from afar illuminating my presence. Blinding me, the light reflected off my half sleeve purple top causing it to shimmer and sparkle.
I knew that my backup dancers were all ready in position waiting patiently for their cue. This is the moment that I had waited for my whole life. I wasn’t nervous in this moment but I was filled with confidence, with pure happiness. This was the last time I ever got to showcase my talent, showcase myself.
Watching the clock tick slowly in the back, I waited as the first three notes were gracefully plucked out of the piano notifying me of my upcoming entrance. The notes resonated throughout the auditorium, piercing through the silence. They evaporated into thin air instantly as if they were never there. I wish I could have caught them in that moment but they slipped away just like every note I had heard in the past. That’s the thing about notes, they cannot be kept but held only in memory.
I transgress back to the room with white walls and dim lights. I see twenty-four pairs of eyes staring straight at me. They are all waiting patiently for me to begin my audition. I turn my head and signal for the pianist to start. I hear the notes from the piano linger into the air from the corner of the room and think back to my last performance.
I can remember standing in the middle of a musty church. Raising my eyes to the center of the room, I observed a chandelier hanging from the ceiling and distinct bodies that I recognized. Light filled the room, illuminating the faces of my friends and family that sat in the pews on both sides.
I knew everyone watching believed I could do it. I wasn’t nervous in this moment; I wasn’t happy either, I was upset. It was my last song. I had to accept that after the song ended, I would no longer return to the stage that I call home. No longer perform or continue to experience the memories that I had created these past four years with my choir. Watching the chandelier sway above, I listened to the final notes from the piano softly resonate from the corner of the room. That’s when I opened my mouth and began to sing.
Hearing those first notes echo through the air from the piano make me think about the journey I have taken and every note I have ever sung up to that point. I envision my past experiences, kneeling next to a little girl while singing Christmas carols, smiling at my parents sitting in the audience, approaching the microphone center stage for an audition. Staring into the stage lights, taking in the crowd, holding the heavy microphone, that is when the magic happens.
Notes are ephemeral. They come fast and leave too soon, but that is how it has always been. Graceful, pure, beautiful, and harmonious. That is a note. When I sing, I picture an image I have seen or a memory I have had in the past. I capture the feeling of that experience and place it into each note. Like every note, it must be carefully crafted and given to an individual in a particular way. It is its own masterpiece that holds a meaning, a purpose, and is perceived by each person differently. It is the power of the note, the power of song that is soulful, striking, lush, and inviting. It will continue to leave you reminiscing about specific moments in time, even after they are gone.
I believe in the note. A specific one which cuts deep down into your soul and touches your heart. It’s the one that digs up lost memories and brings tears to your eyes. The one you wish to grasp forever and never let go. It comes from within, amplifying in power until suddenly, the air runs out and it disappears forever. It’s gone in a second and cannot be retrieved because there is only one of its kind. It can be reproduced but it will never be the same because every one is unique in its own way. A piece of art that can never be retained, the note, a single sound, is one that can only be heard once in a lifetime.