Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Musical Round-up

I haven't taken many photos this year, which I suspect is a reflection of how this year has been so far, and while sad to think about, is life. Fortunately, not only is there still a whole half a year left to go, I am happy to report that things over here continue to improve (in lots of different areas) and if I dare utter it out loud, life is starting to get back to normal. In the last month, we have had several musical performances to attend to wrap up the year. The first was a High School Chorus concert. I was relieved to discover that there is a HUGE difference between a HS chorus concert and a Middle School chorus concert. The middle school concerts that we have had to attend for the past 4 years have been, well, just awful. The kids are required to take either a language, or some type of music class. Those who don't want to take band, or a language, take either Music Survey, or Chorus. The Middle School concert is a combination of Music Survey (which teaches you guitar or keyboard) and Chorus. Kids who have no real talent, mixed with the few who do, and a teacher who has very little control over the lot of them. This concert however, was a delight to attend. The kids sang beautifully and put on a show of 60's inspired music, as you might have guessed from their attire that amused me to no end. It was an hour of music by the chorus and then we were treated to solos by those brave enough to get up and sing in front of the crowd by themselves and it was just a treat. I am so proud of my girl who has such a natural talent for singing.

Memorial Day weekend usually means cookouts and a day off and at my house we also get the treat of celebrating my birthday, but for the past 3 years we have spent our long weekend attending a multitude of parades. Actually, our town puts on a fabulous parade that we have attended for 11 years, minus the one or two that was cancelled on account of rain (I really think it was only one), and Memorial Day holds a special place in my heart. There is something about honoring those who have given their lives to allow us our freedom that just touches a place deep inside me that I can't quite explain. All of the different parades over a few days however, makes for a bit of a crazy weekend, and I will say, when the next 3 years are over, and we can go back to just enjoying our own town's parade, I will be very grateful. Our HS band does a bang-up job however traveling from town to town, and having witnessed the different town celebrations, I do think that our town has the best one. I am not being biased, I am being honest. As a trumpet player, Mr. Man gets the honor of playing TAPS, as they like to have band members from the town they are in play during the ceremony, and then he plays the Echo, as it gets played twice. I love how they have one of the kids go stand away from where the ceremony is and right after TAPS is finished, play it again, so it echos. It's so haunting and moving. It's really one of my favorite parts of the day.

Last weekend we had the Annual Chicken BBQ and Band Concert. This was the first year in 5 years that we have been a part of the event that is has rained, which I think is a pretty good run. Of course, it didn't just rain, it RAINED. We, as Band Boosters (well, I am, The Boy™ just helps with a lot of events and cooks for the BBQ) got there at noon and the whole shebang was over by 8:30pm. It was a long, long day. Neal's parents drove out and arrived just as he finished up his work grilling chicken and so he was able to sit down and have dinner with them which was nice. Both Jazz Bands played during dinner, and then the Concert Band treated everyone to a performance that I hear, was nothing short of fantastic. We let the parents of the seniors attend the concert while we clean up, and I'm looking forward to sitting down and enjoying the show for the first time next year. My kids are both very gifted with musical talent and I am always amazed when they get up and perform because it comes so naturally to them. They make me very proud to be their mom.

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