When I first ever played the violin, the notes came so naturally. I could hear the tune and knew exactly where to place my fingers. I began playing the violin in seventh grade and I remember laying awake in bed one night, playing on my air violin, figuring out the finger pattern to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. The next morning, I picked up my friend’s instrument and tried it out and there I learned my first song.
Music has always been a part of my life. I grew up with a very musically and artistically-inclined family. I recall playing a solo for Solo & Ensemble before a judge one year, and before I stepped in the audition room, my mom said to me, “Play from your heart. Think of someone, something and play it with feeling”. From that moment, I used the violin as an outlet for my feelings and expressions.
I played for competition and for leisure. I continued my studies in violin up through college. Even then, I knew I would somehow use my talents again somewhere, but I didn’t yet know where or how.
The winter after I graduated from college was the hardest season for me. I was up late at night editing photos when I suddenly felt sad and empty. In a second, I felt a part of me had left. Too tired from work, I crawled into bed and went to sleep. The next morning, I received a message on Facebook from a high school friend. That moment, I learned that Josh had died.
He was one of the “kids” in the group of underclassmen I would drive home each day after school. We were in orchestra class together throughout middle school and high school. We went to UIL competitions together and traveled together. That one year in orchestra, we made our school’s first sweepstakes. Our school wasn’t known for being amazing at academics or music, but we were great at being a team and a family.
Days passed after Josh’s death and funeral arrangements were being made. Our orchestra director suggested that we play a last song for him, Lullaby. I would practice at home, but never long enough to finish the whole song without stopping and dealing with the emotional feelings. I was overwhelmed and I could tell and hear my brother in the other room doing the same.
On the day of the funeral, our orchestra gathered once again. We played the beginning lines of the song and I knew that everyone also tried to practice and also tried very hard to make it through the song before bursting into tears. In the last few measures, my brother played the solo. I had never shared a stand with my brother until that day and as he played the last notes to the tune, I let myself cry. He played it perfectly and so beautifully. He played it with feeling. That day, we all played from the heart for Josh. And moments after the last note was played, we all wept.
R.I.P. Joshua Lozano 2/15/10