Thursday, May 19, 2005

String Orchestra Concert

Christopher on viola

Christopher, a man of many talents, played in his school concert tonight. I hate to say it, but his 6th grade concert was several levels above what Theresa's 6th grade concert had been 3 years ago. She played flute back then. Besides the children's work and talent, I credit the director, who gave them interesting and challenging pieces and let them rise to the occasion. In Theresa's case, I hate to say it, but the students were held back by being assigned/confined/restricted to playing nursery rhymes at half-speed. Blech. It must have been very painful for the students to play, because it was certainful for the parents to listen to.

But in Christopher's concert case, it was entirely different. The director, Mrs. Williams, really allowed the students to stretch themselves. All through the concert, a very strange thing kept happening too. After every number or two, one or two or several students would get up, run around, change seats, and pick up different instruments. Have you ever watched an orchestra perform Chinese fire drills? What was going on was that several of the students were performing on two or more instruments. That means reading different clefs, and different finger spacings and everything. (Who needs video games?) For one of those numbers, Christopher, who normally sits with the violas in the middle of the 2nd row, switched and picked up the violin right in front of me (me being in the front row of the audience, of course), and I was lucky enough to get a good shot of video of this piece :-) Chris' own handy little camera holds about 10 minutes of video, and I had asked him which pieces from the program I should video. He had told me this one, but he had not told me why. Here it is. requires RealPlayer

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Boys Chorus Mother's Day Concert

Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus TowneSingers

Christopher has been a member of the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus (a world class outfit) for about a year and a half. They have three levels - a Training Chorus, TowneSingers who perform locally in public, and the elite world Touring Chorus. Chris is a member of the TowneSingers, and they gave a lovely Mother's Day Concert in the mall today. You can see/here some of it here (requires RealPlayer).

Happy Mother's Day :-)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Congressional Art Ceremony

Theresa receives art award from Congressman Kolbe

Well, we (her father, brothers, grandparents, & art teacher, Mrs. Valandry) attended Theresa's ceremony today for her Honorable Mention in the Congressional Art Contest for High School Students. It was a very pleasant event in the backyard of Congressman Kolbe's own home. (He lives in a surprisingly modest house given his standing on the national scene.) Besides her certificate (included in the album here), she was also awarded a cash prize of $50. The big winners won several hundred dollars each. Theresa was at first disappointed that she didn't win the Grand Prize with a trip to Washington, DC, but hey, she's only 9th grade, and winning at all was a huge achievement. She's got 3 more years to keep shooting for the Grand Prize. :-)

More photos of the event are here.