“Come, get out of the house awhile,” my friend said.
“Too busy. Too cold,” came my wimpy reply.
Unmoved, she continued on, “I’ve got tickets to the Florida Orchestra at Ruth Eckerd Hall.”
I protested, “But I’ll have to dress up. And my van has no heat.”
“They’re performing Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. I’ll pick you up at 7,” she said and sealed the deal.
I am thankful for my friend’s persistence. Sitting in the back row of the renovated Hall, I was blown away by the 5th’s four famous opening notes. Even at that distance, I could hear every string pluck, see every inspired movement. I came away from the performance a renewed fan of the wonderful Florida Orchestra and Ruth Eckerd Hall.
From opening day in 1983, Ruth Eckerd Hall has been a jewel in Tampa Bay’s cultural tiara. This new renovation provides the luster propelling the Hall to the next lofty level. Recently, Ruth Eckerd Hall has been recognized as the most successful small concert venue in the world!
The Hall does not allow cameras or recorders, but nothing is said about sketch books. Not ones to miss an opportunity, my friend and I carried our Strathmore pads proudly. As the music rose to its resounding climax, I loosened my stiff fingers and made a few gestural entries.
The first step in any event is the hardest and this Valentine’s Day concert was no different. Once drawn from the warm and cozy confines of the familiar, I remembered what richness lies waiting.
“Come, get out of the house awhile.”