Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sweet Land of Liberty

They thought it was beneath them. The songs were boring. The music was dumb. It was "babyish". They had to learn these "stupid hand moves" and sing songs that were silly and, well, just dumb. They had too many rehearsals, and heard to often that they needed to work harder and sing louder, and couldn't they put a little more heart and soul into it.

Friday's rehearsal was painful. Two classes that were going to miss the dress rehearsal on Monday afternoon went down to watch, so that they could see the show. The reviews were less than shining. Their teachers were concerned. The music teacher was concerned. Even the principal was concerned. It wasn't looking good for Monday's show at all. It's hard enough to get a group of 5th and 6th graders (with a few 4th graders thrown in for good measure) to sing as it is, and even harder to get them behind something they consider "dumb and babyish." The last show of the year (aside from the Memorial Day program) is always the older grades, and it's always a show that revolves around the curriculum. Something they are studying, and usually involving Social Studies. This show was no exception.

Yesterday afternoon, (though these photos are from last night. Ignore the red tone, they had red and blue spot lights shining on the stage) we all filed into the gym for the dress rehearsal, and I was a bit nervous. I had heard the mumblings. I had heard the complaints.

What I heard in that gym, was nothing short of marvelous. Those kids managed to pull together at their last rehearsal yesterday morning and put on a helluva show. My shy son, sang a duet with his best friend in front of the entire school. And then again in front of a packed house. They started with the birth of America, and sang their way right up until the present. I have to say, that they afternoon show really was much better than the evening performance. Their are always kids that don't show up for the show, no matter how much they promise.

The community turned out in droves however. Our lovely music teacher, whom I wrote about already here, gave her last performance at our school. 40 years of inspiring students to do more than they thought they were able to do. 40 years of reaching out to kids that weren't making it in main stream studies, but somehow found their nitch with music. 40 years of singing and recorder playing and marching in parades. 40 years of excuses and eyerolls and students who played with their pencils and wrote all over their music sheets. 40 years. She intened to stay for a year, and never left. Our school will not be the same without her come August. Happy Trails.

No comments: