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INSPIRING TEENS

April 1, 2002

Unfortunately when people think of teenagers, good thoughts are not always the first to come to mind. I know I avoid going into my teenage daughter's high school at the end of their day because I don't want to shoved and pushed in the hallways. I feel like I am running the gauntlet sometimes! I know they are just kids in a hurry to get out and blow off steam.

Fortunately I also get an opportunity to see teenagers at their best. Watching my daughter and her high school band's camaraderie is always a joy. For instance, when a fellow band member's music folder fell on the pavement everyone ran to help gather the music before it was scattered by the wind. They are a great group of kids.

But I witnessed an event yesterday that really warmed my heart.

My daughter had a band competition at a nearby high school. Her band was the last one to play and before they could play their last selection, the lights in the auditorium flickered and then went out.

The atmosphere in the large, dark space was pensive. The band, sensing this, started singing some of the familiar songs that they sing in the stands during football season. The audience started clapping and singing along. It was quite the experience, sitting in total darkness singing and clapping with dozens of people like it was an everyday occurrence.

I was so lucky to be able to experience this firsthand. My daughter is a senior and so this was one of her last concerts in high school. It was a moving inspirational experience I will never forget.

--- Written in 2002 by a proud parent - Jude - Michigan

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