Saturday mornings are one of my favorite times of the week. I love to climb back into bed with my cup of coffee and my dogs and write on this blog. There is no need to rush off into the day when it’s Saturday.
Lately, however, Saturdays are for music!
Two Saturdays ago, Kathryn had her solo and ensemble day with her bassoon. These days are set aside for student musicians to perform solo, small-group, and whole-group songs in order to be adjudicated. Individual students and groups that receive the highest scores are able to advance to the state competition at Central Washington University.
Kathryn’s Bassoon Solo (Click for Video) If you look carefully as she is playing you will see her face turn shades of red that should not be possible. You will also hear loud gasps of air in between note runs. This is because poor Kathryn was fighting a plague of a cold the entire week before her solo performance. Nevertheless, Kathryn was the category winner and will move on to the state competition! Hopefully, she will be at full-capacity by then! Kathryn’s large group, the Wenatchee High Wind Ensemble also advanced to state!
Yesterday was Lillian’s turn for solo and ensemble day for the orchestra. Lillian was double booked yesterday for solo day and boys swim team district finals (she is one of the team managers for the boys swim team). A few weeks ago, Lillian asked us if she could skip solo day since it is “voluntary” and we said no. We resisted the urge to ask if she had lost her mind. She may have rolled her eyes a bit and we could tell she was frustrated but we held our ground. And, holy moly I’m so glad because she had one of the best performances ever!
Lillian’s Cello Solo (Click for Video)
Lillian was also the category winner and will advance to state. She was so proud of this performance and we are too! After she finished her solo she changed her clothes and drove to Moses Lake to catch the last half of the boys swim meet…a win-win because they were district champions!
Speaking of music and victory…we wouldnt be here if not for our beloved music teachers. Today and every day is a great day to celebrate music teachers! These kids don’t perform at this level without the loving guidance from these wonderful people:
Alicia McLean (Missoula) bassoon teacher extraordinaire!
Jessica Catron (Missoula) cello master!
Shaun Diaz (Seattle, Leavenworth, Wenatchee…and soon to be Boulder, CO) cello influencer!
Pam Hillygus (Missoula) violin expert and Snoop Dogg’s newest fan (see footnote)
Connie Celustka (Wenatchee) the newest member of our music teacher family…bringing Carlos Santana to us via James and Jamie on the guitar. Oye Como Va! Connie also provided the piano accompaniment for Kathryn’s bassoon solo.
We count ourselves so lucky as parents to have such amazing musicians to guide our kids! We are thankful every day for sharing and caring that goes into musicianship and the joy for teaching and learning that takes place at music lessons (in person and on the internet)…and practice sessions…and concerts…and competitions.
Footnote: James studies violin via Skype with Pam Hillygus in Missoula. She is retired from teaching Elementary orchestra students (read: she is also a saint). At the end of our last lesson here is what went down:
Pam: so, I’m going away with my husband to Arizona in February. We are going to be gone a couple weeks. I can probably work in some lesson times…
Me: (interrupting) no ma’am, enjoy your trip! That is what retirement is for! We shall see you when you get home!
Pam: are you sure?
Pam: well, we are going to visit my sister and (lowers voice) she got six tickets to Snoop Dogg (lowers voice even more) I’m not sure what to expect…
Me: THAT IS SO EXCITING!!!! I must tell you, Mrs. Hillygus, that I have a secret addiction to gangster rap!
James: yeah, one day it’s gangster rap and the next day it’s country music just don’t get her started dancing (shakes head)
Me: yes! I don’t tell everyone but I love Snopp Dogg! You will have so much fun!
Fast forward to the night before last when this text message came through: