Friends of Maple Grove celebrated its 140th Anniversary with a concert celebrating Historic Maple Grove Cemetery on Saturday, June 6, 2015.
The 140th Maple Grove Concert surpassed all expectations!
There was an overflowing crowd in attendance and did they enjoy a grand evening!
Celeste Chau and her TALENTED group of singers and musicians were extraordinary!
I wanted to personally express my appreciation for an incredibly entertaining evening.
The event was filled with so much joy and happiness. Even the animal world (raccoon) came to listen. We certainly touched the entire world! I received many compliments from many people who had a marvelous time!
I have been volunteering at Maple Grove for many years and have come to befriend many people who have passed on, decades or even a hundred years, before I was even born. But, never the less, their existence means a great deal for me. To hear some of the musical selections that have not been performed for decades was a very emotional moment for me. A part of who they were was revealed through their musical compositions and added a whole new dimension to these old friends of mine. Frank Howson, Meville Ellis, The Lhevinnes, Tony Sbabaro and Vincent Youmans must have all been smiling down upon us that night!
The musical tribute to our veterans was indeed very moving for me. At Maple Grove Cemetery, I have come across too many who made that ultimate sacrifice. It hits closer to home for me, as I have been a sixth grade school teacher for 36 years now.
When I come to learn that some of my students have made that ultimate sacrifice as well, my mind is filled with young 10 year old faces filled with laughter and joy. My hope and dream for them was a full life filled with joy and happiness but alas they were taken too soon. But their sacrifice cannot ever be forgotten and how proud I am of them. The music was so healing.
I conclude with my deep appreciation and thanks and hope we can do more of these concerts. There are many, many more musical compositions connected to people at Maple Grove and many more stories to tell. I do want to add here the quote I read at the concert by Madame Rosina Lhevinne who was a great pianist and teacher.
"“My life at the Moscow Conservatory taught me to equip myself with knowledge and craftsmanship before going out to conquer the world.
My life with Mr. Lhevinne taught me not to conquer the world by force, but to discover the world through study, kindness, imagination, and through the integrity of your own quest.
Finally, in my new life of twenty-five years alone I have found that despite the obstacles which face you, despite how small and worthless you may seem to yourself – you can find the strength to continue, and try to make the world a more beautiful place.
We who are in the field of music have a special responsibility in the quest for humanity. For music is the universal language. It is the one language which can transcend those boundaries by which men continue to divide themselves.”
Carl Ballenas President of the Friends of Maple Grove