Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Holiday Concerts

You just have to love the holiday concerts at the school. It took me a few years to really get the hang of getting the most out of them. The first one, of course, you are just so darn proud of your kid that they could just stand there and you would applaud wildly. Remembering *any* of the words, much less singing at the right tempo and/or on key is alllllll bonus.

The next few are usually not as much fun. In fact, depending on the program, it can seem like a small dose of torture. It used to be at our school that the kids would perform all their songs in their class at once, and pretty much in order. The last few years, they've stopped doing that, because they were noticing that a lot of people were bailing out as soon as their kid was done performing (I admit, I did that once. But it was because I was supposed to be at a class, and I was late. Really. Although getting out of the rest of the concert was a good bonus.) Now they mix it up. The beginner band performs, then the chorus, then a group sings a song (they combine grades for songs--K & 1, 2 & 3, 4 & 5...6 & up is the chorus). Then later that same group comes up and sings another song. Because your kid is going to be performing again later, you stay for the whole thing. On the other hand, the concert also lasts about twice as long because of the groups filing on and off the risers (and of course, each one has to have an introduction).

But now I've got the hang of it. Basically, you just find the funny. There is usually a lot of funny going on at these concerts. The little kids are especially good fodder for the funny. They squirm around in their seats, wave at their parents during the concert, one little girl usually blows kisses, sometimes they fall out of their chairs...it's all good. Tonight we got especially good funny during the K&1 performance of "Jingle Bells."

The front row of kids were given bells as they filed onto the risers, and they were "hiding" them from the audience (like none of us could hear). There was much giggling. The song started out pretty good, as far as little-kid-choral-singing goes. Everybody was more or less together, you could make out most of the words, it vaguely followed the tune. Then they got to the chorus, and the front row whipped out their bells (surprise!) and started madly shaking them. And the entire thing went to hell. Three dozen kids singing "Jingle Bells" and not a one of them was singing at the same tempo as any other. It was hysterical. And they were really belting it out, too. Got to the end of the chorus, the music director was somehow able to gather them back into some semblence of singing order for the next verse. Then again with the chorus, and once again, mayhem.

They got the biggest applause of the whole evening.

Mark got special mention at the concert as part of the intermediate band. Music director was introducing them and talking about how hard they all worked, and then she said how one of her members suffered an injury and had to switch instruments at the last minute, and learn it all in three days. She said, "I'm talking, of course, about Mr. Mark," and Mark gave a little wave with his cast from the back row where he was now doing percussion. He gave 'em hell on those sleigh bells, too, let me tell you. :P

Overall, it was as fun as a holiday concert at school can get, although I was a little tired of the place after having spent four hours at the school this morning volunteering at the book fair. And tomorrow I get to go back for a basketball game. And Thursday back again for a Brownie meeting. Sigh. mk

Mark & Kira after the concert tonight.

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