Thursday, December 07, 2006

Middle School Band Concerts

My only memories of middle school band concerts are dressing in black skirts and white blouses and being really nervous. That and hearing my parents complain about how hard those nights were on their ears. I don't know if we really were that bad, but I suspect we were. Our band director was a kind man who didn't know he could demand more from us. We had fun in his class and we liked him a whole lot, but I'm not sure many kids learned much unless they were also taking private lessons.

So when Morgan first began playing the clarinet in the 6th grade band at her middle school I really didn't know what to expect from her or from the band as a whole. The squeaks we heard each evening when she practiced made us wonder if she was learning anything. Later we found out that her director had told her to squeak. Our first concert experience wasn't until February of that year. The group sounded like beginners but they still didn't sound as bad as I had expected. The director is an amazing woman who energizes middle schoolers in a way that ought to be bottled and sold.

Tonight we attended the annual holiday concert presented by the Symphonic Band (7th & 8th grades combined) and the 8th grade band, as well as the Jazz Band and Strings. The bands were awesome. The clarinets were featured in at least 2 pieces and there were very few squeaks. They all played well and seemed to enjoy their time on stage.

Morgan's fan club included her family, her grandparents and a special friend from church. Not one parent left the concert this evening complaining about their ears hurting! Mrs. Allen's BMS bands have redeemed all of the failings of the late 1970's Dumbarton Junior High School Concert Band. I just wish my mom could have been there to hear them play!

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