I realized as I walked into the Little Theater at NV that I did not recall having been to an orchestra concert in the almost eight years that I have had students in the music program. I feel sure that really is not the case, but for some reason tonight, the feeling was different, a strange unfamiliarity that I had never experienced.
The building was the same, and the same group of parents was there that I had grown accustomed to seeing at all the other music performances, but I felt a "disconnected"-ness from the proceedings, and it seemed to me as though I was looking at the whole of the situation with different eyes. I will not share my impressions here, as they are not wholly very positive, but I will indicate that I am grateful that the young one is a senior at this school and will be graduating soon.
When Seth's Ann and I arrived, the students were filtering into the seats near the front and on the side, where they were to remain when they were not on stage performing. The young one was in the first "sitting" group; the orchestra he was to play with was the more proficient and experienced of the two, and as such always saved for last in the program, which made it necessary for parents of that group to listen to the first group before their own students performed. In a rude and ironic twist, the parents of the first group, regular as clockwork, stood at the end of the first group's performance and left the venue....a typical behavior; I'm not sure why I was surprised, or even mentioned it, except that it irks me so.
Once the young one was on stage, I set about the impossible (for me) task of trying to get photos that were in focus; you would think that there would be plenty for me to focus on, considering the fact that the entire percussion section decided to wear RED ties with their "concert black". The percussion staff stood at their stations to cover their instruments looking for all the world like a pack of mobsters, the only thing missing, their black fedoras.
This orchestra was obviously much more mature and better practiced, their ensemble sound resonated with much more depth. The percussion, woodwinds and brass added to the fuller, more complete "feel". They played through their selections with confidence, and the program that the conductor had chosen was enjoyable.
At the end of the event, the orchestras combined on stage to play the holiday favorite "Sleighride" (the link, left, is to an .avi file of over 60MB in size; if you wish to save it you can, if you view from online, please be patient). The audience gave all the students a standing ovation of appreciation at the end of the program, and then the folks that were left dispersed to collect their students and head out into the pouring rain to go home. Oh, did I neglect to mention that it has been raining ALL DAY? We are extremely fortunate that the temperatures are rising; with this much rain we would be knee deep (at least) in snow by now!
Well, that was the extent of it...a very nice concert, and the young one pleased with the result. He is making an early night of it (first one in a long time!) so hopefully he will be well rested tomorrow when he takes the plunge into testing for his driver's license. Keep him in your good thoughts as the afternoon slips away; by then he will be behind the wheel proving to some authority figure that he is deserving of being able to get himself around.
Till later...hopefully with good news...much love to you...