My foreign language skills were pretty questionable back in my undergrad years. In fact, they were poor. But one semester in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I was forced to find my way around with a new language, things changed. It helped me with the history of the Zapotecs. It helped me when I wanted to talk politics in Spanish with a group of young activists at a local watering hole. It helped me verbally defend myself against boys spewing dirty Spanish words to me at an Oaxaca baseball game, from which I was subsequently kicked out. Ladies don’t swear apparently.
The reason I dredge that all up is this: On Sunday evening, a group of music majors and non-majors from UM host a black tie benefit with auction, food and live jazz to raise money for a summer in Vienna, Austria. If they raise the money to go, they’ll get the chance to learn about music from the late 19th Century and Fin-de-Siècle. They’ll study German music terms, focus on performance skills and delve into history. Missoula’s a cultured place, but you can only go so far understanding a foreign music culture without being immersed in it. It’s just one event this weekend that might, if all goes well, have lasting effects on a group of instrument-toting folks.
And I bet they’ll find better things to do with their time than getting kicked out of sports events. We can only hope.
Sunday, Dec. 6, at the President's Conference Room at UM’s Brantley Hall and then head over to the Recital Hall in the Music Building at 7:30 PM for the benefit concert. $20/$10 students. Call 243-6880.