Notes from Jan

Every Now and Then We Need a Little “WOW!”

October 8, 2019

The child loves music but so do  many children around the world.   What makes this different is how Ronan, age nine, responded last spring when his grandfather took him to Symphony Hall to hear a concert by the Handel and Haydn Society.

This past week the Society invited  Ronan and his grandparents to be their special guests at a dress rehearsal. They wanted to honor the “wow child.”

Zoe Greenberg covered the story for the Boston Globe and wrote,” Ronan earned the name last spring.  After the orchestra finished playing a piece by Mozart, the crowd went silent, and Ronan loudly exclaimed, “Wow,” delighting the conductor, the musicians, the concert attendees, and people all over the world.”

The Society searched for the boy who’d been whisked away by his grandfather, afraid he’d disrupted the audience.  The Globe reported,  “once the grandparents learned the symphony was looking for the little boy,  they weren’t sure they should reveal who he was.  They thought if they came forward, there’d be some retribution. Instead he’s become a model of how classical music can move people of all ages.

After an intense search, “The Handel and Haydn Society announced on Facebook, “We have found the  ‘wow’ child!’ ”

The author noted, “Ronan is on the autism spectrum, and his spontaneous reaction seemed to sum up the ineffable feeling people have had for centuries listening to one of the world’s best-loved composers.”

The conductor added,” These sort of moments, like Ronan’s wonderful  ‘wow’ moment, are just electrifying for us, and actually just make us realize exactly what we’re here doing.”

Seems to me, we could all use a little “wow” every now and then.  If we’ve lost the spontaneity,  maybe we can pause to appreciate the Ronans, who help us remember,  “exactly what we’re doing here.”






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