Thursday, December 13, 2007

First of the Concerts

Last night was the first of the Middle School Music concerts.

It kind of tickles me that there are so many musical things going on at the school that they can't do it all on one night.

It kind of tickles me that Skip has his fingers in so many musical pots at school.

It kind of chafes me, though, that the groups that Skip plays with don't all perform on the same night.

So last night was the first concert. And Skip was in two of the groups.

[insert the basic you're-all-tired-of-hearing-it overly busy running around daytime events here]

When it came time for the concert, I wasn't home yet, so it was up to Skip and Ken to get themselves together (dressed in concert garb, hair out of the eyes, take all needed stuff (INCLUDING all the decorated Christmas Cookies that I'd made for the bake sale), and get to the school by 6:25.

My menfolk, they are a well oiled machine, so that went off without a hitch, except for the txt message that I got while I was leaving gymnastics with Kelly, that said "All is well, except Skip doesn't have a jacket". Normally? This would not be an issue. We *do* live in California, after all. But, just because God didn't want me to gloat over my New Brunswickian BFF's frosty plight too much, He made sure that we've been having to scrape ice off our windshields in the mornings, and by the time the concert started, the air temperatures were dropping into the low 40s. A tuxedo shirt really doesn't offer a lot of protection, especially if you are a 12-year-old boy, and think that wearing a white undershirt under said tuxedo shirt would be un-cool. Fortunately, there was a tiny window of time, and Kelly and I were able to swing home and snag a jacket for Skip while Kelly changed out of her "I'll just wear a leotard and flip-flops after getting out of the shower with wet hair and then run to the gym" attire, and into something more winter-suitable.

Because Ken had to be there so early with Skip, he actually had pretty nice seats, and I didn't have to beat my way through the shuffling crowds and bring out the Evil Eye.

I'll spare you the re-telling of the sets with the Orchestra, and the Junior Choir. They were fine. really. Just long. Kelly now wants to play the cello, AND sing in the Junior Choir when she gets to Middle School.

Then there was a brief intermission while they got set up for the "Rock Ensemble" (their title, not mine). This is the guitar elective class that Skip's had since September. The kids that play in the winter concert are the kids who took the elective in first trimester. I don't think that the other trimester classes have an opportunity to play at a concert, because the Guitar Band only plays in December. For the Guitar band, the kids were asked to wear 'some combination of black, white and blue", and so there was a sea of black head-to-toe rocker dudes... and Skip.

Don't you like how he brings an element of class to an otherwise somber and casual event?

(The 'who's the girl in the tuxedo shirt' comment from the bleachers behind me notwithstanding)

There's a guitar phenom just off camera to the left. He's the secret weapon in the jazz band, and, according to Ken, who volunteers with the jazz band one morning a week, can play guitar better than he does. You can't see him, but he's playing a 12-string, and doing it with great facility. It was really fun to watch him. I think Skip might idolize him just a bit.

So the Guitar Band starts playing their numbers, and the 8th-grade Phenom gets a little bit of the spotlight (well-deserved, the kid can really play), and it's generally an enjoyable set, the 'rock-n-roll choir' standing behind them singing the Greenday songs notwithstanding. (hello, 'notwithstanding' is my new go-to word of the day). Skip keeps looking over at us with this little smirk that I can't read. He must really be having fun with his guitar cronies.

And then it comes time for the final song, and the teacher turns to give a little introduction. Behind him, I see a little activity... it's the Phenom, handing Skip his guitar. And for the last song, Skip, with a grin like a Cheshire Cat, has the spotlight with the 12 string guitar.

I nearly cried. And of course, I was too blubbery to take a photo of the performance. So you have the 'aftermath' shot.

By this point, the Littles had pretty much lost their composure, so Ken offered to take them home and put them to bed, and I got to sit through another long set while the Junior Band took the stage. That also was enjoyable in the main. Maybe because I didn't have to keep a squirming Nate quiet.

But I wasn't there to watch the Junior Band. I wanted to watch Skip's final performance, and then get outta Dodge.

Whew. Here they come!

And look! Skip's First Chair. (sorry. Bad photo, zoomed from FAR away, with no flash. But hey! I couldn't have done that with the old camera, so I think this is a pretty sweet shot)

And oh look! Dad didn't make him wear SOCKS.

But wait! There's more!

Skip didn't tell us he had TWO surprises for us at the concert last night.

First, was the 12-string guitar playing.


Halfway through their keynote piece (The Halo Theme), the music gets kind of quiet, and a single trumpet cuts across the murmur, like a beacon from far away.....

Yup. That would be Skip.

The little stinker! He never told us, so I only caught the last 8 seconds of his solo, as I was stumbling around with my camera, trying to get it into video mode.

It was a proud evening to be his mom, I'll tell you.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I'll be back there tonight, watching Skip in the Jazz Band... and bringing more Christmas Cookies for the bake sale. I'd better get going on those right now, or the frosting won't be set up enough to package.

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