Spring Concert

(This was from last week one night when our DSL was down.)

When I was in high-school, the words “Spring Concert” brought pure joy to my life. It was usually the biggest concert of the year. It was certainly the most interesting musically. Tonight we went up to Metro High to hear Emily’s Spring Concert. It was quite good considering Metro is an academic school and not a performing arts school. Before the Concert Band came out we were treated to Chopin’s Etude in Eb, one of my favorites. The Jazz Band then came out and they were very good too. Then the Concert Band finally took the stage. Emily is playing 1st Flute, second chair this year and next year she’ll be first chair. Not bad for someone who “hates” band. They played about eight pieces or so. One of them was called “At Dawn They Slept.” This is taken from the book, “At Dawn We Slept” which is about the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. A musical representation of the Pearl Harbor Attack? Interesting.

Emily knows how I feel. Nothing would make me happier than if she loved music and band and wanted to pursue it in college, but she doesn’t. She does have talent and natural abilities, and that may come back to center stage someday, but for now, she’s intent on Pre-Med and I think that’s great.

The Post-Dispatch finally reviewed the show at the Fox that was last Wednesday evening. Turns out one of the writers’ kid was there performing. Here’s a link to the story. He pretty much had the same reaction I did.

A little rain won’t hurt you

Well, it’s been raining here in St. Louis. Really raining. Our internet connection was out for three days. I’ve posted some pictures from the local media below for any of you out-of-towners. And, we’re expecting another “supercell” through here on Sunday. A lot’s been going on, I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write anything lateley.

With the Memorial Day Weekend coming up followed by the 60th anniversary of D-Day on the 6th, I’ve been thinking mostly about all the soldiers throughout our history who have sacrificed everything. I’m not exaggerating when I say that hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about them. But, tonight, it’s late and I’ve got to get some sleep. You’ll be reading much more from me over the next week about Memorial Day and D-Day. Monday we’re visiting Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery and I’ll share some pictures from that.

Science Camp is just around the corner

This is the group from Science Camp of last year. I’m really looking forward to this year’s camp which is coming up in three weeks. The sessions I’ll be doing this year include: Introduction to Astronomy, What is Darwinian Evolution?, What is the Internet? and Brian Greene’s “Elegant Universe.” I’m hoping to be able to post some pictures from this year, although that can be problematic dealing with kids and pictures and the Internet. At least I’ll post some thoughts and reflections.Posted by Hello

Here’s the historic Morrison Observatory owned by Central Methodist University. Inside is a 19th century refractor that’s just about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. The craftmanship and artistry that went in to making it are astounding. Posted by Hello

Party Convergence

Tonight we went to the Fox Theatre to watch and hear Emily participate in a special production put on by the Fox Associates. This one was the second annual. The schools get together with a couple of big corporate sponsors and put on a big show which includes all the music programs from all the city schools. It was really, really good. Just the challenge of getting all these different groups on and off the different stages seemed awesome. And let me tell you, anyone who thinks you can’t bring religion into the public schools hasn’t been to many musical presentations. I’ve been to lots of them and many times, tonight included, there are sacred pieces presented and no one from the ACLU jumped out of hallways to stop it.

Many times at these events I choke back tears. Why? I’m not sure. I know that it reminds me of some very pleasant memories of childhood. From seventh grade on through high-school I performed in school bands. I loved every minute of it. One of the bands tonight play “Theme from Shaft.” In my day, everyone played that song and when I heard it tonight, well…it was great.

While reflecting on all of this tonight, I was reminded of a story. A couple of years ago, we were at a party somewhere, I think for my sister’s birthday. I got to talking to a guy and we soon realized there was some kind of strange convergence happening here. He was a high-school music director but had always wanted to be a Chef. I was a Chef who had always wanted to be a school music director. And, both his wife and mine owned their own secretarial service doing mostly medical transcription. Weird.

But as we talked more, he started telling me about the horrors of being a music director. The parents, the school board, the politics etc. He had learned to hate it and was taking an early retirement. What he’d wished he’d done was become a Chef! Ah, there’s a job he could enjoy.

Oh yeah? “Let me tell you about being a Chef,” I said. The long hours, the losers you work with all the time, the owners, the petty politics etc.

He said to me finally, “Yeah, but it is exciting, I’ll bet.” I answered, “Yes it is.”

I said to him, “But you know you’ve changed and enriched young people’s lives.” He said, “Yeah, I did.”