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Thankful for the busy family, music and a busy holiday season

When I was younger, my impression of high school was that everyone belonged to a group or a clique. In my mind, I always pictured a cafeteria filled with pockets of tables where each clique sat. This scared me because I felt I didn’t belong to any particular group.

I was never into sports, nor was I a talented artist and I was only a mediocre violinist. However, during freshman year my orchestra teacher approached me to audition for the Strolling Strings. The Strolling Strings is a group of musicians that travels in and around the state to play for audiences. At these events, the students walk around the venue playing music they have memorized.

This was completely out of my comfort zone. I didn’t view myself as a strong musician, so it was hard to see myself as part of this group. But my family urged me to try out, and I did. To my surprise, I was chosen to play with the ensemble. Even better, I found my group. Four years later, these are still the people I share a table with in the cafeteria.

Playing with the Strolling Strings is usually just another opportunity to get together with a great group of people and share the gift of music, but every year around the holidays, our schedule gets a little hectic. The few weeks prior to winter break are filled with performances.

This year we have nine performances in the span of the two weeks. We will travel to places near and far like the Genetti Hotel, New York and Harrisburg. I can’t deny the stress that comes along with the Christmas season. Since there are a lot of performances, we end up missing a decent amount of school at an already busy time of year. However, it is also the best time of the year.

We are all busy, so we understand exactly what each other is experiencing, and there’s a sense of solidarity and comfort in knowing we are all in it together. We try to offset the stress with holiday-themed sing-a-longs on the long bus rides and our “Secret Santa” gift exchange. This is definitely my favorite time of the year.

Looking back, I would be very disappointed in myself if I didn’t audition for the Strolling Strings because had I not, I wouldn’t be looking forward to next week and “strolling” with my two best friends.

I’m glad I fought through my apprehension and I’m thankful my family pushed me out of my comfort zone because it led me to the group where I belong.

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