Just a month ago, I wrote about my dream of bringing Michael McLean and Bryce Neubert’s The Garden to Maine. I hadn’t dreamed, however, of the overwhelmingly positive response we would receive on its first performance on March 17th in Waterville. That morning, every seat in the 275-capacity venue was reserved, with many would-be attendees already lamenting the lack of extra tickets.
The emotion in the hall during and after the performance was palpable and overwhelming to both the performers and the audience. Even before performance day, I fully anticipated that we had reached our goal, had successfully finished this chapter, and would close the book with a feeling of satisfaction. I was completely unprepared for the unsettled feeling I experienced, as the outpouring of support surrounded us following the close of the program, and for days after. It was as though we had not finished the job, at all. The question I kept asking myself was, ‘why aren’t we done?’ We might have have been, but for that nagging feeling that there was more yet to come.
I believe I now have the answer. It is because bringing The Garden here for others to experience was not its own book, nor was it about me, and about making my dream a reality. It was part of a much larger picture of what is going on in Maine right now. Even, or perhaps especially in these lean economic times, we are searching for the uplifting, for life-changing opportunities to serve and to bless the lives of others. It is natural for music to be a part of that opportunity and service. Music has a way of touching hearts and lives that nothing else can accomplish. Music can provide solace and comfort to a grieving heart, soothe a troubled mind, and offer hope and promise. It can lift and bless.
That has been the miracle of The Garden. It has blessed our lives as we have prepared it, and again as we have seen the impact of its hopeful message on the lives of others. In response to that positive experience and following an unmistakable prompting that, indeed, we were not finished and the book is still open, we will offer a second performance of The Garden, this time in the Augusta area.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 4 Hasson Street in Farmingdale has graciously agreed to host our performance on April 21st at 7PM. *Seating begins at 6pm*. Tickets (free) will be reserved online, this time at www.thegardenmaine2.eventbrite.com, and will be used for seating purposes. After ticketed attendees have been seated, if there are places remaining in the 400-seat hall, we will seat non-ticketed attendees.
So, before this musical chapter closes, and another begins, we offer The Garden one more time. We pray that all who desire will be able to join us, to be uplifted and edified, and better-prepared to face life’s challenges.