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Excited Young Concertgoer Invited Back as Special Guest

A nine-year-old boy whose expression of amazement sparked applause and a viral video sensation has since been invited back by the orchestra as a special guest. Nine-year-old Ronan Mattin caused quite a stir last May during The Handel and Haydn Society’s performance of Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music. During a moment of silence, the boy couldn’t contain himself, exclaiming “Wow!” The crowd of concertgoers burst into laughter, and then applause. Orchestra CEO David Snead called it “One of the most wonderful moments I’ve experienced in the concert hall.”

Mattin’s grandparents were initially reluctant when they heard that orchestra personnel were looking to reach out to the boy, mostly because they thought he might be in trouble. But those fears were allayed when he and his grandparents were invited back to Boston’s Orchestra Hall for a special dress rehearsal performance of A Mozart Celebration.

Dubbed “the Wow Child,” Mattin, who is on the autism spectrum, said few words during his return, but expressed plenty of his famous enthusiasm. “He was tapping the window and jumping up and down,” said Claire Mattin, his grandmother.

Artistic Director Harry Christophers said that Mattin’s exuberance put his job in perspective. He said, “These sort of moments … actually just make us realize exactly what we’re here doing. We’re here to give people a release from their daily existence. With Ronan, it’s spontaneous, it’s an innocence, it’s just lovely.”

Potential Preaching Angles: Jesus told his disciples that unless they become like children, they could not inherit God’s kingdom. Sometimes the only appropriate response to an internal moment of joy is an outward expression, and to hold it back is to deprive others from sharing in that joy.

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