Sunday, April 26, 2009

Children's Concert

So today we dragged the kids out to the Symphony. We'd heard a while back that they were going to perform a children's concert. We got all dudded up in our fancy/casual attire (read as; polo and khaki, nice t-shirt under sport coat, pink blouse with nice jeans... and that's just what I was wearing)

As it started out, Mia commented about how dark it was getting and Simon noticed there were an awful lot of people entering the stage with a "This is going to be loud." Now keep in mind, while Mia has been to a ballet at least, this was the first time the boys have gotten the opportunity to witness the making of music on such a grand scale. We did not prep them in any way (other than to say that they were to be on very good behavior) and they had no idea what was to come as the musicians took to the stage.

The first piece was the main title from Star Wars. The first note hit poor Simon like a fist to the face. his hands shot up to his ears and his knees hit his chest on the first crash of note before the ba dum dum Dah DAH (I wonder how long I could type out the notes like that) I'll just embed it... the part I'm talking about starts after the "20th Century Fox" intro.

Yeah... that initial blast.

They rolled on into some more pieces. There was an opera singer whom Mia called the singing princess. They did a piece where she (the singing princess) ran out of wind (air) and had to be wound up again like a toy to continue singing.

We thought of leaving at intermission because the kids were reaching the end of their patience, but we decided we'd stick through it and let them experience the entire thing before passing judgement.

As the end arrived, I explained to the boys that there is a long applause section where we applaud the conductor, the wind instruments, the brass section, the strings, the percussion, the group as a whole, the singer, the conductor again, the architect of the hall, the guy who changes the lightbulbs in the auditorium... Apparently we did a really good job applauding because they decided to treat us with an encore...

A surprise montage from Indiana Jones!

The kids were beaming.

"I think it's pretty that there was a girl on stage singing pretty songs while the musicians played in the background." says Mia

"My favorite part was the beginning and the end, Indiana Jones and Star Wars, well, Star Wars and Indiana Jones." says Chas

And Simon raves, "It started to get boring but we didn't leave and I just had to sit through it but it wasn't boring at the end which was Indiana Jones."

There I was typing a post and I forgot to include the part of the concert which made my day worthwhile. I like to sit there and look at each instrument until I can hear its particular sound and contribution to the melody as a whole. One instrument I particularly like to watch is the tympani. This guy was going wild, especially during the Indiana Jones piece.

We'll pause right there leaving our drummer with his sticks raised while I divert the story a bit...

I was listening to NPR a few years ago when the participants of the discussion were talking about the most embarrassing moments they've had during a performance. One opera singer told of a scene where he was to run across the stage and jump onto a table during his song. The stage hands had forgotten to lock the wheels on his table and when he landed on top, he proceeded to fly across the stage and off the other side.

Back to the tympanist...

Right at the final crescendo he's going off on the drum set playing wildly when he loses his grip on his stick and sends it flying across the orchestra and smacking against the wall. I burst out laughing and had to wait until the end to explain myself while we watched him on stage explaining his event to the rest of the orchestra members. While no member of this particular orchestra was injured, it did lighten the concert a bit, even if I was the only other person in the building other than himself who saw the event.
Good night all, I'll post again soon.

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