Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fa La-La-La La La-La-La-La

Tonight was Mantha's Christmas concert. Let me start off by saying - the kids did an amazing job. I may not sound appreciative of their hard work if you continue to read on, but really, they only start practicing in November, and the performance is pretty incredible for such a short amount of time.

That being said, I wouldn't be me if I didn't share those things that drove me ape shit about the evening...

It was rather uneventful for us for once. We arrived on time and not frazzled - a milestone in the baum household... We sat near the front in really uncomfortable seats made for young people with narrow hips and normal rears - not two ton Annie and her clingy 6 year old.

Jon on the other hand did not show. First time in 6 years he has not come for one of her concerts. He had a very good reason - Amy was in the hospital. But, Mantha admitted to crying in the shower. She is used to her dad dropping everything for her, and this time he couldn't. Secretly I think she was hoping I would let her skip school tomorrow and go home with him a day early (its his weekend with her).

The kids as always were very talented. I was especially impressed with the 4th grade class. They are a talented lot. As were the 5th and 6th. But when the 4th grade class is more in key, more in tempo, and more into the spirit of singing to a large audience, it makes the others dull by comparison. Of course I realize that 5th and 6th graders are starting to become "too cool" to have to perform by choice. I mean really dude - its so lame!

The band, well, I hope that I will be a proud band parent at the concert next year, but maybe Mr. S the band teacher does feel the same way because he introduced one of my former religion students as the "only Oboe player in the entire school". While my 11 year old OBOE PLAYER was on stage (on the choir side). I thought she was going to cry. Apparently he forgot about that other girl he has private lessons with on Tuesdays - as the only other Oboe player in the entire school. That same 5th grade girl that sat in his band class for the past 2 days, and has been in the same seat since the start of school.

Just a minor technicality if you are the band instructor. A major insult if you are my 11 year old daughter.

The talking never stopped - parents yapping away like they were at reunions and not a concert. Did people not hear the "principal with the lisp" explain before the concert even begins that the children have practiced long and hard for their performances, and we need to be considerate of them - in other words: "shut up, sit down, turn your cell phone off, control your whining kids, and be quiet."

Then there is the matter of 1/3 of the 5th grade class missing from the performance. Last time I checked a concert is not a "show up if you want to" kind of gig. It was pathetic. Of the 84 students in the 5th grade, only 59 showed up!!! The 4th and 6th grades out ranked the 5th grade class, which is one of the largest classes, by nearly perfect attendance.

And the layout... The band on one side of the stage, the choir on the other, with a very large baby grand piano in the middle. So if you didn't find seats in front of the choir - which is where ALL the kids sang at some point, but instead found yourself by the band, you only got to see live action for about 15 of the nearly 60 minutes of live performances.

I sound so bah humbug, but when you are in a firetrap of a room (this school was built in 1908) with several hundred parents, grandparents, whiny and screaming kids, it sure would be rockin if at minimum the adults acted their age!
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