Monday, April 21, 2008

Gut Check

This weekend's outing for the StillWaters Jazz Band was probably our toughest so far. (Sorry, no pictures this week.) We played at the Brian Center of Salisbury this week.

To be honest, I think that we all expected a crowd similar to the one we had encountered at the NC Veterans' Home last week, however, it didn't take long for us to realize that we were playing for a much different group. In fact, by the end of the first song the differences became evident. Most of the folks didn't respond at all to the music. They just sat there. There was one fellow who clapped for us on most songs and another that tried to clap.

When we got to our break time we went out into the crowd and talked to several of the residents. I was able to have a pretty good conversation with the gentleman that I was talking with and Justin and Sara seemed to do all right with the folks that they were talking to as well. (Justin is excellent at the ministry aspect of our playing anyway. Not bad for a self-described introvert!) Most of the residents there needed skilled care. It was pretty heart-breaking to see the condition that some were in.

I wish I could say that we played our best this weekend, but frankly it was quite a challenge. I found myself getting lost a bit and just wasn't on top of my game. We ended up wrapping things up a little early to accommodate the dinner hour.

In the parking lot after the gig we all talked it over. It had been rough for all of us, but Justin did a great job of bringing us back around to the reason we are doing what we do. He said, "If we're just doing this to stroke our egos we're doing it for the wrong reason." Amen.

If the environment there was clinical and uninviting to us, how much more so must it be to the people who have to live there day in and day out? There is no one who needs what we are doing any more than the folks at the Brian Center. Therefore, you can bet that we'll be back. Hopefully we'll be better prepared for what we'll encounter when we get there, and hopefully we'll have a better strategy to make it fun, but we will be back. How could we do otherwise?


Wade Huntsinger said...

Awesome. I know that those are the toughest venues.

Jonathan said...

Thanks, buddy!