Friday, October 23, 2009

Parade of (Boys in) Bands

The Parade of Bands is my favorite concert of the year. It features all of our school districts bands from 6th through 12th grade, which this year included all three of my older sons. Melissa attended with Grandma ?, Lyle, and I. Though typically crowded in the high school gym with standing room only, and hotter than a summer sauna, this year's attendance was comfortably down in numbers....see, there IS a positive side to all of this flu going around!

Jonny's 6th grade band began the program. This is the biggest band, as excitement among the kids is still new and quite high. They have come a long way since only learning how to blow into their instruments one year ago. The songs were recognizable, and melodies were followable(I've decided making up my own words is just easier these days in order to catch up on my blog posts). They did a nice job!
Several bands later, Michael appeared with the 9th grade band. The music in high school is much more interesting both to play and to listen to. The trick is to get the middle school kids to hang in there until high school! Michael did well, and looked oh so very handsome wearing a dress shirt and tie. I am still pretty much banned by him from taking pictures, so I will just have to try to envision it all in my memory!

After Michael's band played, the regular senior high band walked onto the floor. Though Alex is not a member of it, he walked out with the director. "Hmmmmmm?" we all wondered from our seats in the bleachers. Alex had mentioned he had practiced with this band this afternoon, but he made no mention of performing with them. And where was his instrument? Was he going to direct?
Standing in front of the crowd, dressed to the nines in his black tux, Alex narrated the story of the musical piece, "Peter and the Wolf." He did such a great job, and looked so very dapper and grown up out there. Gave us a glimpse of the future so close ahead when he will be off on his own. I didn't know weather to smile or cry. I chose smiling.

The members only Wind Ensemble played just before intermission. They were wonderful! Playing his trombone he has only been learning recently over the past few months, Alex did a fantastic job in this quality band. Their performance of "Ghost Train" was simply amazing with such musical special effects, dissenting harmonies, and technical difficulties, worthy of college material. Musically amazing.

The Marching Band rounded off the evening with a slide show and one last performance of their summer show. They could not march in formation as around 150 kids in half of a gymnasium pretty much takes up the whole space available as it is. But they were so impressive, as always. The music program here is top-notch, high-quality, and it is such a pleasure to be a part of it!

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