Composing the Bermuda symphony

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  • Wrestling issues: the public have endured many episodes of bitter exchanges between opposing groups in the political arena that often create emotional wounds instead of the healing needed to break down those walls of mistrust and confusion

    Wrestling issues: the public have endured many episodes of bitter exchanges between opposing groups in the political arena that often create emotional wounds instead of the healing needed to break down those walls of mistrust and confusion


There is a great lesson for all in what it takes to perform a great symphony with so many musicians and a wide range of different instruments. They have specific parts to play and ultimately produce a special sound of beauty in rich harmony.

It is also interesting to note that not all instruments are being played at the same time. However, each musician knows the importance of the notes they will add to the blanket of sound in a manner that creates a richness desired by the conductor.

In an orchestra of nearly 100 musicians, one would think that if an instrument fell silent, it would not be noticed. The razor-sharp listening skills of a great conductor are capable of detecting whether musicians are performing as a team during a performance. What matters most is the complete commitment to being a part of producing the highest quality possible, whether it involves a leading instrument or having a supporting role.

In Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No 9, one musician plays a key role in the second movement with seven important notes, which sets the stage for one of the most beloved portions of the famous composition.

Throughout the first movement he was silent. However, when that concluded, he knew it was time for his key role — and the heavy bass notes he played were just as important as the glorious sounds from the full orchestra during the entire masterpiece.

Although there are many magnificent symphonies performed worldwide, musical groups of all types rely on their ability to blend talents in trying perform as a burst of harmony, whether it is with voice or instruments.

The Bermuda symphony, if we may use that term, is still in the process of being composed. However, in this new age of diversity, which is constantly expanding, there are roles for just about everyone in helping to create an atmosphere of working together to build what could be a Bermuda symphony of progress and success in dealing with the challenges that need cohesiveness to solve problems.

Bermuda is wrestling with a number of issues that will not be solved overnight by either the One Bermuda Alliance government, the Progressive Labour Party, the unions or protest groups.

These are issues that are so complex that, without a greater attempt at trying to discuss differences with co-operative voices from all of our leaders, the people who want a better Bermuda will be left to think that for some gaining or maintaining power is more important than what is best for Bermuda.

While some may take issue with that statement, the public have endured many episodes of bitter exchanges between opposing groups in the political arena that often create emotional wounds instead of the healing needed to break down those walls of mistrust and confusion. Violent gun-related crime, illegal drug activity, dangerous attitudes on our roads, health concerns for the elderly, and education, not to mention the vital need for a new airport, are just some of the matters that need all our resources as we work towards that Bermuda symphony.

This year is loaded with potential for keeping our island on course, but it is also loaded with challenges that could mean the difference between playing the right notes to enhance those opportunities, or allowing sour notes to stifle progress in putting our best foot forward, especially when the global spotlight is awaiting our performance. But we know it is not just a performance we all want. When that spotlight is turned off, it is equally important to continue our focus on building a stronger community that will be the best guidepost for preserving sound values for future generations.

To get Bermuda this far, we have had great contributions over the years that involved significant sacrifice from black and white Bermudians, who knew building an island-wide social community would be the best way to reach that Bermuda symphony of life. They also knew there would be testing moments along the way, since not everyone wanted to be a part of that progress stemming from injustices in the post-slavery era. Not all will have their names in lights, but their efforts surely helped in the continuing challenge to build the Bermuda that we all want to be proud of.

Progress should never be taken for granted since the full symphony is yet to be played because we are yet to get all instruments tuned for the single purpose of providing the best result possible. This is really a time to pause and reflect on whether we want a full symphony of diverse involvement or notes of anger and bitterness over differences to hamper further progress.

How we meet challenges in the months ahead will determine just how we as Bermudians really feel about reaching the goal of a Bermuda symphony that children of today can be proud about tomorrow. There is still much work to be done and everyone, no matter the size of their role, will have an important part in bringing that about.

Most Bermudians want that success, which can be achieved with a willingness to respect differences of opinion, while striving for what we hope will a Bermuda symphony of harmony, peace, dignity and sound values.

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Published Feb 6, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 6, 2017 at 9:59 am)

Composing the Bermuda symphony

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