Monday, April 5, 2010

A Spotlight on Perfection

The offices of the Indianapolis Children's Choir are on the campus of Butler University. Few people outside the ICC family know this. Up until two weeks ago, even fewer people knew exactly where Butler University was.

Thanks to the Butler University men's basketball team advancing to the NCAA championship game tonight, the awareness factor for Butler has grown exponentially. The championship game being played right here in Indy is icing on the cake.

The excitement on campus, and in town, is palpable. I know there are some folks in the arts community who lament all the attention that sports get, but there is no denying it: This is a sports town. Indy has four professional teams, a myriad of amateur teams, a very strong tradition of high school sports, and is home to the NCAA headquarters. There's also that little event we call the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Indianapolis has an equally impressive array of art offerings. We are home to one of the few full-time orchestras in the country, have our own opera company, a myriad of fine theaters, dance offerings and world class art museums. Not to mention one of the largest children's choirs in the world.

Some people do naturally gravitate to art. Or to sport. Rarely both. Despite their different fan clubs, they both have the power to touch us. The anticipation felt when the house lights in a theater go down and the show is about to start is the same as when a row of sprinters crouch down in their starting blocks. Exhilaration when a piece of music has been played masterfully is the same as when we watch a quarterback perfectly hurl a football to the precise place he needs it to be. Together, art and sport allow us to feel the depths and peaks of human emotion.

So, if you only consider yourself a sports fan, or an arts patron, but never both, consider this: When you watch Butler coach Brad Stevens skillfully orchestrate the movements of five young men on a basketball court, and you watch an ICC conductor turn a new piece of music into a beautiful sound - you are watching the same thing. Perfection.

Good luck Butler!