Thursday, December 17, 2009
A Joyful Noise
Last Friday nite I went to Darien's Holiday Piano Recital. As my eyes fought their way through a sea of balding dad heads, I was able to watch this boy--who I took care of for the first six months of his life, who would always stop crying when I sang "Hey Big Spender"--make beautiful music all by himself.
Terri & Jeff didn't have designs to make him play the piano. He just sat down at his grandparents' piano one day and showed a natural aptitude. I've listened to him practice on the Fridays I pick him up from school, and I've listened to him try and beg his way out of practicing.
In his tie and starched, white shirt, sitting at the piano and arranging his sheet music, he looks so grown up--and his face shows an expression of concentration and focus that I've rarely seen unless inspired by Disney or video games.
The thing about piano recitals is that you really only care about the kid you came to see--but you have to sit through all the other ones too.
Gabi's Holiday Choir Concert was tonite. She loves choir, and music is the one thing at school that feels right to her. Every time there is an audition for a solo, she tries out--sweaty palms, tummy aches, and other nerve-riddled side effects aside. And every time she doesn't get the part.
Tonite Gabi had a solo in "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." It was more of a comic, acting-type solo than a singing solo, but still it was hers--and she was perfect.
In fact, the choir as a whole was pretty darn close to perfect--it was the best they've ever sounded. Every song was pleasant to hear and entertaining.
A bonus that we were unaware of before we arrived (Gabi had a slew of supporters show up to cheer her on--thanks everyone, it meant the world to her!) was that the school orchestra AND band would also be playing. All in all there were 16 songs performed--and Gabi's choir was only six of them.
When Savannah was in the orchestra in Jr. High, I was always shocked to hear them play at their concerts. They weren't horrible. They were actually enjoyable most of the time--a phenomenon that never ceased to amaze me.
The program showed that Savannah's former orchestra teacher was now the teacher for BJH's orchestra (Savvi went to a different Jr. High). That gave me hope.
My hope was mislaid.
God love them, the kids and the teachers poured their hearts and souls into each number, but no one knew when to say when. Mrs. Kravanic forced these kids to play lengthy (I mean L E N G T H Y), lethargic, dissonant song after lengthy, lethargic, dissonant song.
As I was considering the sad circumstances (or mental disease) that drive one to become a Jr. High School music teacher, Savannah looked at me--revelation written all over her face--and said, "I think THIS is why I hate Christmas music."
I almost peed my pants.