12 Aug 2014

Strike Up The Band – Nantucket Style

It’s been said, “You can’t play a symphony alone, it takes an orchestra to play it.” The famed Boston Pops exhibited this to perfection this past weekend as they presented a spectacular musical symphony during what has become THE Nantucket summer event of the season. Each POPS virtuoso was brilliantly gifted in their own right, but when directed by the always amazing conductor Keith Lockhart to play in sync with their fellow musicians, the end result was electrifying. I was reminded how much better we all perform…and how much more fun we have…when we join together to get something done.

It wasn’t the music alone that exemplified teamwork. Every detail of the event to benefit the Nantucket Cottage Hospital was a thoughtfully crafted collaboration that invited young and old, locals and visitors to unite under the Nantucket sky. My family and I wriggled our beach blanket onto a sliver of sand alongside a few thousand fellow music lovers and settled in for a night of food, dancing and patriotism. Jetties Beach was transformed into a dance floor when the guest band of the evening, Arrival from Sweden (the world’s foremost ABBA tribute band) took the stage and transported us back to the 70’s with their rousing renditions of Dancing Queen, Mama Mia and many others.

Music of all genres and in any location has a way of uniting us. At the first annual Nantucket Music Festival last weekend, even Mother Nature’s soggy cruelty couldn’t stop hundreds of music lovers from gathering together in Tom Nevers to rock out. Nantucket has no shortage of additional music venues and activities all year long, but during the summer months live tunes can be enjoyed nightly in locations island-wide. From the Chicken Box to the Rose and Crown, from Cisco Brewery to The Muse and many other locations in between, music enthusiasts can get their groove on to everything from Folk Music to Jazz, from Classical to that old time Rock and Roll.

Perhaps most meaningful is the opportunity music gives us to pass along something special to future generations. It occurred to me as the fireworks were erupting overhead during the Boston POPS finale that our third son Drew had attended his first Nantucket POPS concert at age six…and now twenty-one years later he’s here with his daughter (our granddaughter) introducing her to her first ever POPS event. As the orchestra brought the house down (or the beach as it were) with its stirring rendition of the “1812 Overture” it wasn’t just the patriotic symbolism that evoked the huge emotions in me; it was the reminder that someday this little girl would likely be standing on this same beach with her own children, listening to this same music, giving thanks for a nation and an island that make it all possible.

Play on….

Shellie Dunlap


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