Kevin and I had tickets to the New York Philharmonic tonight, to see works by Mendelssohn, Mozart and Elgar. I was particularly excited about the Mendelssohn, and ended up really liking the 14-movement Elgar piece. But the uniqueness of this particular concert came about before it even started. I saw a musical tribute to a member of the horn section, who recently passed away, as a prelude to a regular concert. His name was Jerome Ashby, and he'd been the Associate Principal Horn. In his honor, the horn section played The Evening Prayer from Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretl, a piece I sang in junior high. I'd never been moved to tears at the Philharmonic before; I've definitely felt moved, but for different, more standard reasons having to do with music and passion. But this was the first time I'd ever looked down at the stage to see members of the orchestra crying. Several violinists had smartly stashed kleenex in their music stands, and the timpani player was shaking slightly. I also heard a chorus of sniffles from the audience, proving that you don't need to know someone to be touched by their life's work.