Friday, May 1, 2009

The Last Fat Tuesday... and performance

The school year was coming to an end, and Kaylee was soon to graduate, so it was time to document our last big Tuesday at Peoples School of Creative Arts.

First on the day's schedule: Beginning ChoirMrs. Clark's cozy blankets on the floor. Fun stories of composers and orchestra instruments. Silly rhymes. Then off to the auditorium to get a feel for the steps and risers for the upcoming concert.Meanwhile (during part of the story time), I peeked into the dance room and found Kaylee warming up before teaching her girls' classes.I've spent some of the most delightful hours of my life watching my girls train and discipline themselves through the art of ballet. (I don't get to see them very often since they've stopped taking classes, so it was a treat to catch a glimpse of Kaylee, even if it was just warm-ups before teaching.)
And Connor? He'd been assigned by Licia (our choir director) to place the promised reward for memorized lyrics on each of the Beginning Choir seats, so that when they returned from the auditorium -- "Surprise!!!!" Ring pops!
After the younger choirs (Beginning and Children's) - the Youth Choir (6th-8th grade) with Reginia Teter. What a brave soul to take on (with great success!) this group of changing and emerging voices. (She also leads vocal warm-up exercises for the concert choir.) She's a beautiful lady with a beautiful voice (she blessed us all as she sang "It Is Well With My Soul" with the Community Choir at the concert on Thursday!).
While the Youth Choir finishes up, Kaylee leads the Girls' Ensemble in vocal warm-ups. (She's sitting at a piano, here, peeking over the top of the file cabinets in the copy room where they usually rehearse.)Some of the warm-ups are rather ... unusual.

It turns out that I wasn't the ONLY one documenting this last day.
Hello, there, Mrs. Reilly :-)Never a dull moment with these girls!

And with this director! Such fun!
But then.... hmmm, what happened THERE?! What was THAT note?!
(This look seems to pop up frequently in "Great Gettin' Up Mornin'" -- and last semester, too, but let's not talk about last semester, huh, girls...! Hooray for SECOND semester! :-) NOW we're talkin'!) Through it all, Mrs. Clark loves her kids! And she loves that "girl time" that she gets with the ensemble.

Following a quick, almost-half-hour lunch break, it's time for Concert Choir, where the fun - and work - continues.
"Ben, what WERE you SINGING?!"
"Oh, was I only to be THREE octaves below the girls?"

Our faithful organizer, Mrs. Holly, bringing us.... announcements!

Then it's outside with Mrs. Ridley, for an end-of-the-year ensemble photo.
OK, girls, 1,2,3..... Aaaaaghh! What's THAT! A snake?! A HUGE worm?!!!
Lovely Samantha gracefully, delicately, removes the foul intruder.There -- *click* -- Lovely girls. Lovely.
And now just for fun...
Meanwhile... Connor gets out his cello for lessons with Mrs. Alvarado. Recently, they've had some great opportunities to perform. The two of them provided dinner music at the local Pregnancy Care Center's annual fund-raiser banquet, which followed on the heels of another fundraiser concert for the Pregnancy Care Center and Fresno Right to Life (Max and Jenny, along with Max's brother, Simon, plus the Girls' Ensemble also performed). And last week the cello quartet of Mrs. Alvarado, Connor, Simon, and their friend Nicole performed in the lobby of a local theater for the opening of the movie, "The Soloist." (Boris Nixon of the Fresno Philharmonic - whose hands were used for the up-close cello shots in the movie - was also there!)

Kaylee and I have a little time to kill while Connor has his lesson, so we head to a practice room to work on Kaylee's voice lesson - well, and to have fun, crooning our way through The Secret Garden, Fiddler on the Roof, Cinderella, etc.
And then, with Fat Tuesday drawing to a close, the empty auditorium awaits Thursday - with its all-morning rehearsal and concert in the evening. At 6 pm we arrive, with others from the Community Choir, for one last run-through. (The Community Choir had its own concert at the end of March, and is singing during the offering at this concert.) Us.
And why is Tim a bit antsy?!
See below.

Celtic Thunder, aka PSCA Guys' Ensemble, will be performing for the first time.
Singing "Heartland."
"Make it thunder, guys!" said Tim, their director.

And they did!
Oh, for a video clip here!
(On our facebook page, "McCracken Family," we've posted a link to Mrs. Esau's video of their last rehearsal on Thursday morning.)
And Tim -- wow. You poured your whole heart - and some sweat - into that. And it showed. (The heart, not the sweat.)After the concert, Mrs. Clark wanted to recognize each of the seniors (17 of them, I think). So, in a rather impromptu way (yes, that's the way of Mrs. Clark! :-), she did a quick interview of each. Aaaghh! Speeches! Do we HAVE to?! And right here, on the spot, decide definitively what we're going to do with the rest of our lives -- and tell it to the audience?! Well, I should have photos of all the choirs -- complete with video clips. But -- I was at the piano through the whole concert (except during the guys' ensemble). So, you'll have to check out choir members' facebook pages to see if they've got any pictures ... or get a DVD or CD of the concert (oh, wow - that reminds me, I've got to get my order in!).
I do have an "audience" photo.
This is Mrs. Clark's parents.
And they come to everything.
So I thought you should meet them.
Well, we'll be back for more Tuesdays and more performances next year - and the next - and next - Deo volente - with Kaylee teaching ballet classes during the day and singing in the community choir on Tuesday evenings with her dad and me, and Connor singing in the concert choir and playing the cello. And I'll be at the piano most likely. Enjoying myself thoroughly.
Come join us!



teters4 said...

Oh Lori! These are great pictures and a great story of our "fat" Tuesday's to go with them. I know what you mean about seeing Kaylee dance. I love to see Jenna play around with ballet here at home and sometimes even tap since she is dancing so little now. Don't you wish every now and then we could wiggle our noses like Jeannie and have them little again for just a few moments? It's a joy to see them grow up and I wouldn't have it any other way, but just so bittersweet as graduation approaches.

The Parish Clan said...

Yay! What a great photographic peek into your Tuesdays, and especially the excitement and fun leading up to the concert. And wow . . . what a concert! My heart was bursting with pride for my dear 'family'. :-) I love you!