It was a real whirlwind the past couple of weeks. Jazz Showcase, Bradley Honor Band, ISU Contect, Jr. High Contest, and the first EPGHS Senior Recognition Banquet. I'm glad to be able to breathe a bit this week.
Jazz Showcase was well done. We had over 80 people in attendance on a Thursday night in April! Not too bad for the first gig. The parents did an excellent job decorating. It had a jazz club kind of feel to it. The auditorium needs to be used more. Next year we are thinking of moving it to a different venue and billing it more as a dance gig. It's all good to me as long as the kids are into jazz!
Bradley got me out of EPG for a day with three of my most talented musicians. They got to play in a big group that sounded great! I got to spend the day talking with other directors, working on our show for next season, and listening to the guest conductor.
ISU's contest gave us the great experience of playing on a fantastic stage. We had some jitters and was not our best performance. I hope the kids had fun anyway, I was really impressed with how many of them listened to the other bands and glad that some even came back the next day to hear groups. The only snag was the bag incident, I can't believe that's the worst I have had to deal with all year. Count my blessings I guess.
The Jr. High Band went to IESA contest for the first time in a few years. We played a program that stretched them and it showed. Maybe I should've programmed a little simpler, but I just don't believe in watering it down. They recieved a 2nd, but I'm glad because they need to realize that they have some serious weaknesses. Considering they suggested adding a drum solo to our ballad to "win" over the judges, I knew this would be a wake up call.
Then there was the banquet. What a great time that was! We spent an evening looking back on the year. The seniors all spoke. I was pretty moved by what some of them said. One said not to clap for him, but to clap for me. They recounted fun stories, shared some tears and laughs, and generally had a good time. I'm really glad Harrison and I got the slide show together. It means a lot to me.
It's cool to look back. I'll put a year pictures post soon I think. Until then, just a lot of words and time to get to lunch duty.