An Enchanting Concert by George Winston

George Winston

George Winston

You are in a woodland grove and there is a quiet, trickling creek to the side. Tall trees abound in your surroundings, and you watch the yellow, brown, and red leaves lightly fall upon the ground. Autumn is in the air and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

George Winston opened the evening with a song, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” by one of his most celebrated musicians: Vince Guaraldi. At an early age, Winston was impacted by Guaraldi’s music, which can certainly be seen in his music today. The day Guaraldi’s album “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was released Winston told the audience that he listened to it about a hundred times that day.

George Winston lived for a large part of his life in Montana- an important inspiration for a majority of his work, for instance the music in his album “Montana- A Love Story.” In addition, he lived in Florida for some time, even went to Coral Gables High. It was nice to have him return to the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, as he said so himself. On top of all this, the proceeds he made from his albums and posters were donated to Feeding South Florida, a local food bank. This charitable action is no anomaly; he often organizes his concerts around a variety of different charities.

Although he does not like his music to be categorized as “New Age,” Winston considers his music grouped under the name of rural folk piano. The concert embraced the name rural; images of a snowy winter forest and the cool breezes of autumn materialized in my mind as his staccato fingers danced on the piano keys.

Throughout his Winter Concert, he executed an interesting style in his performance, one that the average listener cannot visualize when listening to his music. He effectuates a rapid and voracious digression of notes at the end of some of his pieces. You are transfixed in the extremity of those notes as he pours over the piano, and at the finale of the piece he reaches over to pluck the strings. At the intermission his assistant had to re-tune the piano from the intensity of his performance.

As the concert came to a close, he received a standing ovation which demanded an encore. For the finale he played a lovely piece on his guitar. At the end as he packed the guitar away he lifted it and humbly left the stage while I wished I could replay the entire night over again.

Habitually, we forget about the beauty and wonders of nature, too wrapped up in our bustling lives to stop and smell the roses. Sometimes we need to be reminded of it, and his music allows the reminiscence of nature. Somewhere along the way in his concert I was able to visit the great plains of the midwest, Montana’s blue sky with dotted clouds, and the warm feelings of the holiday season.

There is an obscure and elusive element about nature, making it difficult to capture and behold it in all its glory. I am never able to visit the countryside within the comfort of my home or the city, but George Winston’s music carries over the intangible senses of nature straight to us. He has made the impossible possible. With the delivery of nature’s sounds he was able to coax the rest of our senses-sight, smell, touch- awake from a deep slumber of suppression.

I hope everyone has a mystical winter break with the touch of George Winston’s music to bring us an air of tranquility and whimsicality amidst the senses of nature.