Dear Rehearsal Room 040,
You probably spend much of your days feeling a bit underappreciated. I mean, I would if I were you! Year after year you sit buried deep in the basement of the towering Musical Arts Center (MAC for short) on the picturesque campus of Indiana University. The spring flowers are glorious alongside the limestone buildings of Bloomington, Indiana. But you’ll never see them, spending your dreary beige existence in the bowels of a stone building dedicated to musical excellence.
I know you might feel a little overlooked, but you are so special to me! I spent two glorious years playing beautiful music within your walls- Bruckner, Strauss, Brahms, Mahler, Debussy- the masters of musical composition in full technicolor splendor of orchestral sound and joy. But that noble existence as an orchestral rehearsal room isn’t why you are such a treasured space to my heart.
You see, on my very first day of my very first year of graduate flute study, I was assigned to your cavernous space (along with every new grad student with a last name from S-Z) to take a Music Theory entrance exam. These exams were legendary for their difficulty and boredom-inducing tedium. Students were fidgeting or staring blankly at your bland walls, while I reviewed every possible theoretical concept known to man in an attempt to continue my 4.0 career. Then, through your dented steel doors, walked someone who would change my life forever: a teaching assistant with a summer haircut, wearing a Michigan (didn’t he know that this was IU?!) t- shirt and a quirky smile. As he worked the room offering pencils to (apparently) underprepared students, I “mysteriously” lost my 6 pencils and had to accept his kindness. Of course, he cracked a joke and I laughed, because wouldn’t anyone laugh before taking a challenging entrance exam? No? Just me?
I haven’t seen you for years, rehearsal room 040, but I have basked in the benefits of your drab walls and industrial floor every single day.
You were the place where my heart first discovered its greatest human love, the father of my children , and my partner in all things!
Jennifer Mazzoni wears a lot of different hats, including homeschooling mother of three, professional flutist , and ministry partner with the love of her life, Matthew. But her identity lies in Christ , her Rock and her Redeemer.