Yesterday was A’s last middle school band concert ever. It was also her band director’s last middle school band concert ever – she’s retiring at the end of the year, which is next week. It was something.
It started when A came home and announced that she had to be at the school 30 minutes earlier than we had thought. Which, in theory, meant that the concert time had been moved up. We raced through dinner, A got into her concert gear, and off we went.
That was when we discovered that the concert started at the regular time. While waiting in the parking lot, we also discovered why their band director made them come in a half-hour early for a picture. Wow.
In the meantime, M came over from her new job. She’s doing well there, and seems to like it. It was great to see her happy and at least a little relaxed. We went up to the “balcony” (the quotation marks make more sense if you could see the building), K set up the camera, and we watched the show.
The jazz band went on first. For a middle school band – hey, even some high school bands I’ve seen – they were quite good. They even tackled “25 or 6 to 4” with roughly 3 hours of practice time. (Children, go Google it and imagine playing that in 8th grade.)
Next was concert band. They’re divided up between “7th grade band”, which is meant for students who are just beginners as well due to our district’s stellar support of elementary school music; and 1st period band, which is more experienced 7th graders and 8th graders who presumably know what they’re doing. Both bands sounded pretty good.
Before the last song, the band director gave out awards to almost everybody. In different categories, from most improved to best musician. After the last piece, the 8th graders played a piece that was written/orchestrated by one of the kids. It was amazing, and the kids did a wonderful job with it.
After it was over, we hung out with M and waited for A to come out of the band room. She talked a little about her experiences with middle school band. We got to meet one of A’s friends – well, K did, I’d already met him – and finally headed out to the car. We all said goodbye and left for our respective homes.
M didn’t talk much to us about what she was feeling, which is okay. She did text A once she’d gotten home, which was awesome.
I’m glad that we were all able to do this. It’s what we’d been hoping for ever since we started this. To have all of this seem normal and feel normal and be just a regular part of our lives. I hope it continues just like this.