Saturday evening as I sat in the Averitt Center for the Arts Emma Kelly Theatre, I was moved by the choral performance of the Morehouse College Glee Club. On stage were some of our country's most brilliant, musically gifted African-Americans college students, representing a 100-year tradition of musical excellence.
But it was the face of a young black child who captivated my attention the most. He sat in the row in front of me, allowing total view of his facial expressions. He was perhaps 9 years old. And he was in total awe of what was standing in front of him .... 43 young, talented black vocalists offering a program beautifully arranged, and performed in a unity as one voice .... young men dressed sharply in blue jackets, white shirts, khakis ... so disciplined you could hear a pin drop.
Somewhere in the first set between Trains a Comin' by Carlos Simon and Witness by Moses Hogan, I was convicted of something too powerful to deny. As a member of the Statesboro community, I had let our community down. There were perhaps 50-100 unoccupied seats in the theatre. Totally empty ... beckoning a warm body to occupy those red, luxurious chairs. I have no musical talent, but I could have orchestrated this worthwhile activity by paying the way for additional young ones to witness the magnificence of this concert or asked friends to do the same. But I didn't.
I did what other theatre patrons do before a show. I joined friends at Chops and indulged in appetizers while dressed in fine attire ....a ll for the sole consumption of .... myself.
But I missed the mark. I should have taken time to think of others. Created an opportunity to impact our youth. Facilitated a night on the town for young boys who might never consider that success comes only from perseverance, hard work, dedication and finding your passion in life.
I could have been a catalyst for change. But it didn't happen on my watch.
As the evening ended with each Glee Club member introducing himself, hometown and major, I realized most of these young men will venture into non-musical professions upon graduation. This 90-minute gift of song and sonnet, their singing in a chorus, was done for the sole purpose of a gift to others: musical expression.
I arrived at the theatre with one purpose: to experience a fine performance. But I received a much greater gift. I witnessed the impact young men can have on little boys. And the 9-year-old's ultimate expression ... total glee.
Jenny Lynn Anderson