What I Did on a Summer Afternoon
By Tom Wachunas
“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
- Philippians 4: 8
And now for something completely different. I suppose it would be noble and right and praiseworthy to be outdoors on this, one of the most perfectest summer days to come along in quite a while, tending and trimming any number of terribly neglected garden spots on my sprawling Perry Township estate.
Instead, I’ve been busy at my desk, fulfilling my commitment to the Canton Symphony Orchestra (CSO), researching and writing program notes for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. My deadline is looming, and I’ve hundreds of words to write before I sleep.
But something unprecedented has transpired today. It’s something that has left me in a kind of ecstasy – staggered, slack-jawed, stunned, and still marveling at a light far warmer and more bright than the shining sun itself on this gorgeous afternoon. So there’s no garden dirt on my sleeve today. Just my heart.
As part of my research on a piece that the CSO will be performing on March 21, 2020, I watched and listened to a YouTube video of Andrew Davis conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in an absolutely transcendent performance of a 1910 work by English composer Vaughan Williams, called Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis. I offer this link for you to click in the hope that you can, regardless of your musical tastes, take the time to pause, breathe deeply, and hear with all your soul. Let your gardens and errands and chores wait. Relax, and be willing to be illuminated:
Also, if you’re interested in the history of this work, here’s a link to a superb overview by Chris Myers:
I simply can’t contain my awe of this glorious work. To keep it, I have to give it away. So call me giddy with gratitude – gratitude for the CSO, Thomas Tallis, Vaughan Williams, the opportunity to share with my readers, and most of all, God. Amen.