As a piece of music was played he asked everyone to draw what it made them feel. The first piece, though he didn't tell the audience, was the 4th movement of Beethoven's 6th. Abstract colors, expressionistic designs, blues and purples appeared on the pages. I even saw a few skull and cross bones. Quite appropriate, for those that don't know, the 4th movement is titled "Tempest & Storm". Then, again not announcing the piece, the William Tell Overture was played. Squeals of recognition rang out in the air, some kids sang along, others danced while they drew or tapped the crayons in rhythm onto the paper. It was a synergistic experience of the music, reminiscent of Wagner's term "Gesamtkunstwerk" meaning "total art work". After, he asked some kids to get up and share their images of what the music evoked for them. "A guy falling off a boat and drowning and then getting run over by the boat." Declared an otherwise sweet looking young lady. A testimony to the transformative power of music. "Mary Poppins", "Santa Claus", "the Statue of Liberty", "a man shooting an apple with a arrow" were all impressions from the William Tell Overture. The Maestro then showed his baton, explaining it means "stick" in French, and clarified how it was indeed different from a magic wand which led to his statement that being a conductor is "the easiest part of the orchestra, second to the triangle, but the hard part is knowing what you want. ....it's all in the imagination of the conductor and having to know all about all the instruments" shedding light on what a conductor actually does.
Opening it up to final questions at the end, one girl asked if he ever made a mistake. Maestro Vener answered "It's not about making a mistake, which will happen, but how do you fix it." He concluded with the sage wisdom "I'm not going to tell anyone I made a mistake, except my puppy, but he'll lick me anyway, so it's ok." Revealing that through it all, the Maestro knows what truly matters in life.
After having their paparazzi pictures taken with Dr. Vener, the kids skipped away, in an excited mood, having just had an internal spark lit, a flicker that will hopefully turn into a flame, a torch for classical music that they will carry the rest of their lives, passing onto to yet another generation.