Music That Moves ME Memories

Have a musical memory that you’d like to share? This June we will post listener submitted recollections here and share a few on Maine Public's Facebook page. Send your memory to us at

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  • CLICK HERE to learn more about Maine Public's instrument donation project

Our listeners’ favorite music recollections:

I play the flute, and the summer after my sophomore year in high school, I went to New England Music Camp for the month of July.  My flute teacher, a professor at a midwestern university during the school year, suggested that I prepare to do a flute solo for one of the student recitals.  I practiced (and practiced and practiced) von Gluck’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits for weeks that summer and successfully performed the piece when the time came.  Later that year I had some tests for abnormal peripheral vision and had to have exploratory neurosurgery at Boston Children’s Hospital in Novembe

Over the years, ever since seventh grade, I have played the bassoon. During high school, college, medical school, residency, two years in the military, and then forty years in Maine, I have found an orchestra to play in. The Bates College Orchestra has welcomed community members to fill out its ranks, so that has been my primary venue, of sorts. While spending summer weekends further downeast in Hancock, I became aware of a symphony orchestra in the area, the Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians, established in 1943 by the world famous conductor Pierre Monteux.

In 1975, at the age of 16, I noticed the arrival of my parent's Time and Newsweek magazines having the same unknown artist on their covers:  Bruce Springsteen.  For me, the 70's were bleak musically and in many other ways.  A lifelong Beatles, Motown and "British Invasion" fan, I had pretty much given up hoping that any new music from there on out could inspire me.  I saw this scruffy, scraggly and skinny young man being hailed as a new Dylan and the future of rock and shook my head in disgust.  I dismissed him (and his music that I never gave a listen to) out of hand and continued to be su

My first date in high school was to a Peter Paul and Mary concert in White Plains New York...the beautiful song  written by Pete

Seeger touched me deeply when sung...little did I know that I would be a nurse in Vietnam asking ..."where have the soldiers gone"..."gone to graveyards everyone..oh when will we ever learn..oh when will we ever learn." Young 17, 18 year old men sent home in the body bags we so gently lovingly put them in...This song makes me weep.

When I was 4 years old my father played a 4 record set over and over. I remember sitting by our old Victrola watching as his eyes would occasionally fill up while he listened. A rich bass voice would sing that he was “everybody who was nobody and nobody who was everybody” His name was Paul Robeson and the music and its message stayed with me as I grew older. The album was called “A Ballad For Americans.” I never forgot it even as I grew up listening to Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore and many others sing the wonderful songs of the Great American Song Book.

My mother had a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice and sang professionally in the New York metropolitan area before marrying my Dad, a Presbyterian minister, and moving out of the area to a number of churches, eventually settling in a small village in upstate New York.

There’s something about Fado.

I’m not a musically talented person, but I am certainly — and deeply at times — affected by music. I’ve grown up listening to opera and classical music with my dad, Billy Joel and James Taylor with my best friends around a campfire, and the soulful strings of Yo Yo Ma’s cello have the ability to stir all sorts of emotions — sometimes simultaneously.

Music was in the walls of our house. A sunshine warmth, that radiated from the old upright grand piano in the parlor. It would come to life, shining from my mother’s touch on the keys. In the 50’s and early 60’s, the piano still ruled the dominion of our parlor, even overshadowing the black and white television which now shared the room, but still cowered awkwardly in a corner, plotting its time.

My sleek new cell phone arrived and sat on my office desk. To test the sound quality of its speakers, I played Phil Ochs’ “Changes.” This 21st century device magically, on demand played music which transmitted me half way across the country and a half a century ago to college where I met my wife and where we “made out” to this song.

Phil Ochs was the most gentle of the protest singer song writers of the 1960s. His songs were about justice and injustice, about protesting a war which was unwise and like Changes about love.

When I was a grad student in New York, I was interning at Sloan Kettering, a cancer hospital. The nurses referred to me 'a difficult patient', a 'grumpy old man' who was refusing medication and refusing to speak to staff. Integrative medicine interns, especially in music therapy, were often given these referrals.

When you live in Maine year round, the advent of summer can feel interminable. As the anticipation mounts to planning for beach days and excursions around our breathtaking state, I find myself buoyed by the lyrics of David Mallett, Maine's traveling troubadour. His CD, Parallel Lives, accompanies me on car trips as I watch the budding trees and changing light of springtime in Maine.

The music that moves me is the Ralph Vaughan Williams piece "The Lark Ascending." It makes me think of my friend, Madeline. That piece of music for me has come to represent her, light, thin, fragile and yet if

The date was September 12th, 2001 and I woke up, not to the rumble of the first flight taking off from the jetport that would normally pass over our house in Falmouth. This morning, and for the next few days, there were no flights coming or going anywhere, and so it was eerily silent. It was the day after the worst terrorist attack had been carried out on American soil. My husband and I had just moved into our new home with our two young children.

The year was 1975, I was 20 and on day 5 of an extended bicycle trip through Atlantic Canada.  I was crossing Nova Scotia, and was feeling the aches and pains of long days on my 10-speed, loaded with camping gear and fishing tackle.  My route that afternoon followed the Trans Canada Highway between Truro and New