The St Paul Chamber Orchestra’s lockout has come to an end. After a season of classical famine, we were excited to hear a concert at the end of May. The familiar faces and the wonderful performances before intermission gave us genuine pleasure.

We were in our seats prior to the event when a couple came in peering at seat numbers in search of their places which were beside ours. We commented on the old eyes trying to work in dim lights. The woman beside me said, “Janet?” It was someone I hadn’t seen in 30 years. We had been close friends when our children, now in their 40’s, were toddlers. She had moved away, but we had stayed in touch for a few years, getting together to play bridge, visiting on the phone and by letter. Then we had separate lives.

Prior to the concert’s beginning, we reminisced, and the years melted away. Conversation resumed during the intermission. It was fun to be together. My husband and I have often wondered if there was anyone that we knew at an event in the Ordway. This encounter was amazing.

Then came the second part of the concert: new music composed by the evening’s conductor. It was dissonant, strange, outrageously unmusical.
The orchestra’s return was a reunion for us, and seeing two other old friends allowed me to block out the post-intermission nonmusic. It was a delightful evening.