White River Canyon by John Higgins
I recently started reading Quitter by Jon Acuff as I’m trying to figure my life out. A simple summary of the book would be learning to utilize your day job to pursue your dream job. In many ways I’m still discovering what my dream job is, though I know that music, teaching, and missions intersect somewhere. Acuff doesn’t give specific steps to follow to define your dream, which I appreciate since each person’s experience is unique. He does encourage his readers to reflect of their ‘hinge moments’ to see what they are passionate about. Hinge moments are times that define or change the course of your life. In the 6th grade, I experienced my first hinge moment.
At that time, I had been attending a small, private school. I was in the band program, but, like the school, it was very small. Near the end of the school year we had the opportunity to participate in a festival with other Christian schools. The band had rehearsed three pieces, including White River Canyon, and at the festival each school’s band combined to perform the pieces together. This was the first time I had played in a band where all of the parts were covered; my own band only had two trumpets, so I had never really heard that part before. During our break time, my mom found me holding back tears. She asked what happened, worried I was being picked on, and I said, “Nothing, it’s just so beautiful.” Granted, our beginning bands sounded nothing like the recording here, and this is a typical, predictable grade 2 band piece. But it was my first exposure to the power of music.
I’m still defining my dream and looking back for hinge moments. I’m not sure yet if I still want to teach band, though that was the dream for most of my life. I think maybe I do, just not yet. I get asked a lot at what point I decided I wanted to be a band teacher, and though there was never really an epiphany moment, it was that rehearsal playing White River Canyon that started me on that course.