Friday, February 17, 2012

Subway Symphony

It was about 9:45 p.m. as I waited for the train to go home last night at the 96th street station. It had rained and you could tell everyone was antsy, especially because the trains were running slow and the platforms were getting crowded. I was just leaving dinner and a show with friends, looking forward to the solitude of the train ride home when I, along with dozens of other New Yorkers, were met with something much better.

For this one night, everyone opted out of our iPods in favor of something far more beautiful. It caught me off guard, especially the crowd of people surrounding this subway symphony, but slowly (and with strangers in tow), I drifted towards it. And in the middle of all this, was Dale Henderson, playing with such passion and fervor. He was in his own world and for tonight, we were a part of it.

There were young and old, singles and couples, people in a rush, and people with time to spare. A train came and went and some chose to linger. Did Mr. Henderson  realize that while his eyes were closed, the bevy of people surrounding him had theirs glued to him? The way his bow stroked the strings, the tactfulness with which he tackled the necessary motions for vibrato on the cello, the simple gesture of his elbows rotating and creating all of this. I was swimming in a sea of notes but couldn't help from looking around. The faces of all these strangers shared the same sentiment. What a welcome break from the everyday.

Dale Henderson, is the one man movement behind Bach in the Subways. Playing only Bach (and without accepting donations, mind you), his mission is to expose the masses to the beauty of classical music. Simple, and definitely something we can all support. I hope you'll catch him in your travels and experience this movement for yourself, but if not, you can find him here, and you absolutely should.

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