Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Tale of Two Bands

I've been to two school concerts in the past seven days. Last week, Lew and I went to Zander's spring concert. This week, we went to Tee's. While I support the arts, sitting through two school concerts within seven days is a bit rough.

First of all, the concerts are too long. Have you sat on a hard bleacher seat for almost two hours? Holy Hiney, Batman, but my a$$ hurt! The folding metal chair which cradled my hind end for over 90 minutes wasn't much better. The teachers talk too much in between songs. The more they favor the group performing at the time, the longer the chatter. Come on, let's hear the songs. That's why we're here.

Zander plays the cello, and one of the two songs his orchestra played featured the cello section. The first chair cellist played solos through out the song, and she totally rocks. Her playing could make you smile involuntarily, or sob, depending on the movement within the piece. Yowsa. I call foul on Zander's orchestra teacher, though. She always puts them on first; they can't leave until the whole concert performance is over, and they never play more than two songs. Plus, this concert, one of the two the orchestra played was a repeat song from a year ago.

When the last group settled into place, the audience perked up. We were almost dismissed! When the teacher introduced the band, and revealed they were going to play one song, the energy in the gym was giddy. One song. Then the swift kick into our sore ends-- the song was fifteen minutes long, with four movements, AND it was based on Moby Dick, one of the most boring works of classic literature. It was like the wave at the Mariners' game as shoulders sagged in the audience. Fifteen friggin' minutes about Moby Dick! Okay, I must admit the band was pretty good, even though their ONE song was too damn long. The oboe player was incredible and I whispered to Lew," The oboe is so cool", and asked him why bands don't utilize this instrument more. He shrugged-- he's not keen on woodwinds.

Tee plays the saxophone. Unlike Zander's orchestra, Tee's band always plays last. We couldn't catch a break. The first year band students were pretty good-- I was impressed with how much they gleaned in six months' time. The intermediate band was a stinker this concert. The teacher picked songs that were way beyond their ability. The intermediate band had two oboe players, and it got so bad, I turned to Lew and whispered, "Remember what I said about the oboe at Zander's concert? Forget I said it." Tee's band played three songs that were pretty difficult, and they all sounded terrific. Not bad for students that rarely practice at home.

Tee was disappointed with the song selections for this concert. His band has been playing Bohemian Rhapsody, by Queen, during class, and he hoped to play it this go around. "But no, we had to play the stupid songs," he lamented. Hopefully, I can wear my Wayne's World hat to the end-of-the-year concert. It would be shame to practice the song for the whole second half of the year, and never get to showcase it.

Of course I'm slightly biased, but both Zander's and Tee's groups were the best performances of their concerts. It's definitely heart warming to see them play so beautifully and grow in their ability. So, I guess it's worth a sore rear and boring gum-flapping every now and again to see the outpouring of their talent.


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