Silver and Gold, Bells and Whistles, Magnified Beauty and Artistry.


I’ve thought it but never stated it publicly.  I am a total, 100% thief.  Admittedly, I have to truly be honest, I love it.  I never imagined truly stealing so much over the last two months, but there we are, me just the same loving every minute of it.

In witnessing the absolute sacred sound of English handbells, Classical guitars, and the ASF Chorale again, revisited from December, sent chills through the very inner soul of my body, I found myself feeling as if I was stealing precious moments of beauty that truly can only be seen through the dedication of the participants, the conducter, and the Tech Club.  When combined, you not only were witness to a dramatic performance that definitely set you at ease, but allowed you to appreciate how much a part of the world arts really do play. Yo never truly realize this until you slow down, take in every variation, note, and individual that you could not imagine on that stage, could not remember seeing in front of the sound board, could not see operating the lights, could only see in the classroom and not holding an English handbell, and then it sinks in.  Stealing moments like this only inspire lives around you, and the things we complain about daily?  Literally water under the bridge.

It is a true gift that Larry Tharp has brought to ASF the last 15 years and yet, if the one message he repeatedly stated at his concerts would go unheeded . “Let this concert sink in and make your evening a better one” – you missed a whole chunk of what magic Larry does in front of the participants.  You miss the magic of Tech Club behind such performances, and you certainly miss the smiles that appear on the artists o stage as you see the fill effect of their classical guitar, English handbell, and choral performances.  Words try to touch the surface to capture this beauty from so many participants, but as you know, they only come so far in being able to express the full impact of such an experience.

Worth fighting for?  Yes.  Worth maintaining to show the versatility of students on and off stage?  Yes.  Worth being able to express your soul through an differing form of expression?  Absolutely.  These are the aspects that make up our Music Department, Arts Department, publications on campus as well as the arts that exist in from and behind that curtain in the Fine Arts Center.  Being able to pull your heart and share it with such a crowd is not easy but the ultimate price is beyond numbers when you see the result.

Being able to “steal” these moments over the last few weeks thanks to Drama Club, thanks to the parents of the participants, thanks to the individuals that operate in front and behind the scenes, I do resign myself to realizing I’ve discovered much more to Mexico than I thought existed and it becomes easier to leave behind elements of the world such as gossip, envy, remorse, and more, thanks to the beauty that Mexico and the individuals I have been lucky to interact with so much thanks to ASF.  Seeing how groups such as Drama Club, Tech Club, the arts publications and their staffs (students and teachers) amplify emotions through their skills – priceless.  In this specific case, saying “We’ll miss you Larry” is able to cover that and represent so many individuals that go on to work so hard to make sure, you’re there to steal that one moment as well.  Larry’s message began to intermesh with the goals of all the other arts we have witnessed in the last few weeks at ASF, that of letting it flow over us and improve our lives, and giving it chance to do so.  Thank you Larry for bearing your soul, your time, and your energy towards that effort, and for supporting everyone along the way that has been willing to make that sacrifice!


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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1 Response to Silver and Gold, Bells and Whistles, Magnified Beauty and Artistry.

  1. j says:

    Excellent write-up about Mr. Tharp and his amazing contribution to ASF. I have said many, many times that the bell choir and the classical guitar are among the few things left at ASF that give the students an extraordinary experience in their education. Without these things, ASF will become ordinary and sink to mediocrity like all the other schools. All schools offer biology, algebra, literature, etc. With Mr. Tharp, ASF was able to offer their students something a cut above other schools. The students won’t remember who they had for math or biology when they are old and in a nursing home but I promise they will remember Mr. Tharp and the bell choir, classical guitar and the a cappella choir.

    It would be easier to wish Mr. Tharp a happy retirement if the remaining faculty believed that the administration was trying to replace Mr. Tharp (as if that’s possible), but most believe that this vacancy will be filled by someone that will be inexperienced and inexpensive. Such a terrible sadness. Such a vacuum in our school and our hearts.

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