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Friday, March 7, 2014

While waiting for the snow to melt…


Today was in the forties, but we have beau coup snow left. Like waiting for paint to dry, especially as it will rain, then snow tomorrow.

Emily and Hamilton performed in their winter concerts last night. No pictures were taken; nothing has changed except Emily’s hair is shorter, and Hamilton and I had our bi-monthly haircuts last weekend. Emily is still first chair, second row, White Band flute; Hamilton is still second chair, Blue Band trombone.

Emily believes she will challenge for last chair, first row flute. She prefers playing those notes and “is better than last chair first row,” who she would challenge. I love these self imposed competitions. I asked if she ever practiced first row, just for fun. Not only that, she accidentally played a line for first row at practice. “What happened?” “Mrs. Foulkes just stared at me!” “Hmm, accident or marker?” “Could be,” said Miss Em.

I went to keep Laura company while she took extra credit notes on the high school bands. An evening of symphonic band is not high on my list. But, the White Band brought me to tears with their closing number, The Light Eternal, written in honor of the 605 men, of 904 aboard, who lost their lives when the SS Dorchester troop transport sank in February, 1943. Four of the men lost were army chaplains, representing four different faiths. I looked over at Laura when the tension peaked and the siren called General Quarters. She was focused and intent. Later, “It frightened me!” Well done, White Band.

Then the Blue Band, good, then the Percussion Ensemble and Shock Factor. Even I could admit it needed students spotted around the audience to help the ensemble shout Shock!

Finally, the Wind Symphony. I wasn't following along the program in my pocket, and was surprised when Mrs. O’Connor announced Variations on a Korean Folk Song, additionally announcing it was one of the requirements of state band contest rankings. The Wind Symphony will participate in one such tomorrow.

For those of you not old hippies, we learned Arirang from Pete Seeger. So, from my expertise, I can tell you the Wind Symphony should get a solid A+ for their version of the song at their competition tomorrow. They took us there, they took us around, then brought us back with their version.




Here is Arirang by Pete. Don’t be put off by the mild criticism of Pete’s back story to the song on the YouTube site. Some day they will grow old and realize that is the nature of a folk song; the melody lives forever and serves other purposes from time to time.



20 comments:

  1. We are having the same weather here in Montreal, Joanne. Today it started at -15 celsius and near the end of the day it reached 0. It was beautiful and sunny, still lots of snow and ice even.

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  2. It's a lovely song, thank you for sharing. My snow will stay here for another month or two...

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  3. A talented man and this arrangement is unique and pleasing.
    You must be thrilled with your gr-kids and their dedication to the band. I would be!

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  4. I hope that your grandchildren are as proud and impressed with you, as you are with them.

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  5. You deserve to be very proud of those grandkids and your work with them.

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  6. This is just so cool, Joanne! I've sent the YouTube on to my daughter and Korean-American son-in-law. I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it.

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  7. How nice that you got a couple of good surprises out of an evening that you weren't really psyched up for. And good for the grandchildren for sticking to their music. They say that music helps the brain in ways that make math easier as well. Bonus :)

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  8. Wow amazing children can learn so much music and so varied in genre, good luck to them in the competition.

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  9. The legend that is Pete Seger - a great influence. I shared many of his songs when I was teaching.

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  10. I like the way you support their love of music. My best wishes to them for their future. My daughter loves flute and she played both in Marching band and in concerts in High school.

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  11. We were two degrees above freezing for a while yesterday.....so exciting. We have been promjised snow again by the end of next week.

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  12. I was always first chair second row. I preferred the lower notes.

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  13. Hari OM
    Delightful.

    Yes, am back, but only by piggy-backing on another's internet as am still without the necessary in my own place. thank you for continuing to drop by and I'll be back fully in near future..... (pleeeease let that be true....) Hugs, YAM xx

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  14. The beauty of learning music, and loving music, is that it will always give you comfort and joy.

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  15. Music speaks a more powerful language than words.
    Jane x

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  16. How great for Emily and Hamilton. I know you rescued those kids and have custody but I was wondering if their mother ever comes to any of their performances.

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    1. She wants to be the party mother queen around whom the world revolves. I require adult behavior. That tends to keep her away, sadly. I believe she's been to three events in two years of weekly football games and three annual concerts for two different schools. She has a boyfriend problem to juggle, too, as the man she lives with will not countenance the sight of these three.

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  17. I am glad for Emily and Hamilton. I am also glad it finally looks like the snow might melt!

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  18. My grandson is in 9th grade and up to now has been in AP classes. He seems to be struggling... not with the content but with the will to do the work. We are worried. But he plays the baritone sax and loves the band. The possibility of losing the band privilege may keep him on track. I think music is his only love right now... except maybe for video games.

    Sounds like Emily and Hamilton did well in the winter concert. And I enjoyed the music video!

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    1. I hope he has an epiphany. The older two here had to have theirs and the little one is struggling with behavior. I don't know any one way for the message to be delivered. My grandson realized it was far better to make the best of a good situation than a bad one. His summation. My fifteen year old granddaughter told her little sister she should do what gramma expected; ;she had no idea how bad it could get. The fifteen year old has become a nice young girl. The twelve year old is working hard at overcoming; I believe she believes, too.

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