Not long ago, a listener sent me a message saying how much he enjoys Sunday Baroque. He identified himself as an “old rocker” who grew up in the 70s and 80s but who, nevertheless, finds himself newly captivated by baroque music. It reminded me of an interview I heard recently with travel expert Rick Steves, in which he talked about the “transformational” experience of travel. He pointed out how when you go to someplace new, somewhere you’ve never been and may have questions about, and where you may not even speak the language, it can transform you. That “old rocker” listener’s comments demonstrate that music can be transformational, too. Someone might assume he won’t like classical music because rock has been his staple genre, but when he listens to Sunday Baroque he finds the music comforting, appealing, even familiar.

Not everyone is as fortunate as I was to have classical music in my life from the beginning, but I hope some will find their way to it through Sunday Baroque and feel welcome and … transformed. I remind myself often that there is ALWAYS someone hearing this music for the first time, just as I am still discovering music and genres I didn’t know I’d enjoy. How about you? Do you recall your first introduction to classical music? Were you like the “old rocker” who found his way to baroque music or the broader classical music tradition later in life? How did that happen? Was it transformational in some way? Please share your story!

2 comments on “Transformation

  1. Robert Humberston on

    My introduction to Classical music occurred at age 3 or 4 (around 1955 or so) when my parents gave me a box set of 10 records of snippets of Classical composers “from Bach to Bartok” as I recall it. Part of a child oriented series from Little Golden Books, I also owned a set of music from the Broadway musical genre and I think of the instruments of the orchestra. My father had been taking singing lessons and sang in church choir, an Episcopal Cathedral choir of men and boys in the English tradition, and I became a member of that choir as well at age 7. With a director and a church tradition of British orientation, I became a participant in music of the Tudor composers as well as Bach, Handel and other Classical composers’ sacred works. We even sang the occasional Russian liturgical piece, as well as plainsong (chant) liturgical service music.
    I grew to love all Classical music and particularly Early Music when an eighth grade music appreciation course and its listening assignments led me to Gregorian chant and the wonderful New York Pro Musica, the leading early music ensemble in America at the time. I took recorder lessons and sang in several groups in subsequent years, including a fine early music oriented a capella choir. The result: a lifelong lover of early music.

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