THE POWER OF PERFORMANCE
By Benjamin Wolaver
Performing is powerful. It can redefine the horizon of a young musician - giving them a new reference point for their life. When anyone “stands and delivers” on a stage, they experience 3 things:
First, they gain a sense of worth. Just standing in the spotlight of an empty concert hall can give someone this feeling of value. It’s why American Idol or The Voice are hit shows - we want to be recognized. At the same time many of us feel shame or fear when we stand on a stage - there is an element of risk that comes from pursuing excellence. There is always the possibility of failure.
This is the second part of performing - it teaches aspiring artists the cost of greatness. Sometimes failing in public can be a greater prod toward hard work than success! Once the immediate feelings of victory or shame subside, the performer can take their measure as a worker and an artist. This teaches us humility and also gives us confidence in what is worthy of praise.
Finally, performance opens us up to the world and opens the world to us. Connecting with our audience and expressing truth in a beautiful, memorable, and excellent way - this is the purpose of every true performer. Communicating with this kind of vision and discipline forms young people into extraordinary leaders, regardless of their profession. Churchill the painter, Disraeli the novelist, Einstein the violinist - history shows us again and again that the arts imbue the best of us with imagination and discipline.
This is why events like the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival are important - they blaze a path for a new generation in search of greatness, giving them a sense of worth, teaching them the value of discipline, and expanding their imaginations to grasp a new future.