Wednesday, May 20, 2009

School's almost out...Deo Gratias.

With only nine more days of school left, I'm not sure who will be more exuberant on the final day? The pastor and associate? The principal? The faculty? Nope. None of them. It will be THE ORGANIST!!!!!!!

Not really - it's been a short year for me! Fall 2009 will be different, though.

Tonight, we had the first ever talent show. In a school with a student body of 70 (preK-3 through grade 6), there was a very respectable showing: at least 130 (probably more) adults, and I think maybe ten-fifteen kids performing. This was new territory, and although there were grand bundles of noives running rampant (they belonged to the parents), everyone was not only civil, but totally supportive of EVERY act!!!!! Nice to see well-behaved parents. It's not always the case these days (especially in sports, which should completely bar all adults, except the coaches and refs).

One child, who has a tiny, tiny voice, opened up beautifully after the first few notes. The kindergarten kids did their two numbers (one a "recitativo" sort of presentation on some contemporary Christian piece like "what would it be like" or "what would I do..." or something like that. Their second one, was cute, though - the four girls had little cowgirl-type dance outfits, and the four boys had their little fake guitars and one fake accordian (thank goodness), and did their routine to the much loved cult hero Selena, who was from Corpus Christi, and was murdered here years ago.....dum ditty dum dum or something... but very cute, and each group got to have their moment in the limelight.

The adult end of the program featured our two young staffs - the coach, and the young lady who has valiantly been teaching music this year. The coach, a very nice young guy (complete with colourefulle tattoo of music stuff on his upper right arm) is a classical guitar student - and he never fails to bring crowds to a whisper at fever pitch. His sidekick, the music teacher, is a vocal major, and has an absolutely gorgeous voice. She sang a short recitative from a Mozart opera. I don't recall the coach's piece, but it was a show stopper - very difficult and exellently played. The Mozart was stunning. The final piece of the program had the two young adults back together, this time doing a piece I had recommended..... the Schubert Ave Maria, soprano and guitar. Coach adapted the accompaniment very well. The two have worked together for several years and the chemistry was there.

Next year it will be even better with the kids - no prerecorded music, everything more thoughtfully planned and carried out (this was done on about six weeks notice...). The pta deserves kudos for their work.

The new Kurzweil PC-2 made it's first appearance during the program.

But the best part was watching the kids eyes light up as they saw the love headed their way (hey! I had to say that, you know). It boosted their ambition to do the best possible job even though their young nerves were a bit on edge. It will be a fun year working with this group next year!!!

Oh - the winners? The judges were wise. No singers were given prizes. It was action that one, because there were far fewer mistakes, and it helped to keep things tamed down:

First prize went to a 5yr old who was a "puppet" - held by her mother. The mother asked question, and the puppet answered (silly jokes, rendered to the hilt by the girl) - her "mouth lines" were perfect, and she really got into the act.

2nd prize was a karate demo, complete with the breaking of two pieces of wood - always a winner!

The event raised about $235 from the "concession stand" - which got a surprise advertisement from a performer waiting for his next verse of "Let it Be" (can't believe a marijuana song made the cut...)

Admission was all of a dollar.

Earlier in the day, the local tv station was at Mass, recording everything - then went to the school to catch spots of things going on. All this will be reduced to a 20 second spot which will be aired numerous times over the next six weeks. Trying to build the enrollment for next year.

This is the only Catholic School in the diocese that offers a curriculum that is solid - including music, of course. Daily Mass. etc. Keep it all in your prayers, folks! I don't want to move soon. (even though it's been hot as hayull here up until Sunday night when we got our first rain in months!)



Brian Michael Page said...

WOOHOO! Our 2300th post!

Motherhen said...

Steve, your school sounds so nice. How wonderful you have daily Mass offered for the kids as well.

At my kids' previous school, they had school Mass once a week. Hideous musical director who thought he was on American Idol and sang louder than the kids each week. He also picked songs about candy canes for Christmastide. Ugh.

My kids new school, I don't know what it's going to be like. I know they "practice" hymns in music during the week they don't have Mass. Because the school body is large, they can't all fit into the Church at once. So once a month, they have school Mass in the gym (never a big fan of that) and the other weeks they go together as a grade to the school chapel or walk down to the Parish for Mass a few grades together. I'm anxious to see how school Masses are done at this school.

Unknown said...

WOW! I make a record posting... send me the cash money, hahahaha.

Paula - I was at a parish once that had the lower grades at Mass on Monday (K-4), grades 5-8 on Wednesday and all school on Friday. I loved it, and so did the kids. It made teaching music a wonderful experience.

School masses in a gymn are an atrocity, I think - and a sure sign of a lazy butt priest (s). The Sacrament is not a convenient gift, and it's best appreciated when sacrifice is made. (My opinion, of course!!!)