Right before Tuesday's Imani Winds concert at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, the director of the series asked the ensemble whether a young man could propose to his girlfriend on stage during the concert.
He and his soon-to-be fiancée live in Atlanta and had met at an Imani Winds concert eighteen months ago. They had travelled to New York City for tonight's concert.
Before the last piece on the first half, flutist Valerie Coleman told the audience that before we proceeded, there would be a special announcement. "Hello New York." the young man said into the microphone, his arm around his girlfriend. He calmly went on to explain that they were on stage to thank the Imani Winds for bringing them together and for their music which had continued to be an important part of the couple's eighteen-month relationship. And then he said good night and turned to leave the stage. We thought he had lost his nerve, but he swung back to the mic and said, "Oh, and one more thing . . . " whereupon he reached into his pocket and knelt. The audience exploded with applause and shouts of encouragement. The young woman, clasped her hands to her head, spun around, and before the question could even be asked, she yelled out: YES!!!
The ring placed on her finger, the couple thanked each of the musicians. Everyone was feeling a bit giddy, the audience was nicely stirred up, and before we continued with the program I stepped up to the mic, and asked, "Is there anyone else?"