It's been a long day. There were some chores, some moments of drama, moments of emotion, and a wonderful surprise.
I got up at 8:30 this morning - the kids were up and about themselves, but doing their best to be quiet. I hope I didn't grouch at them too badly. The sun was not out and I realized I had better get moving if I was going to get the yardwork done before it started to rain or we had to leave, whichever came first.
I had the lawn mowed and was about halfway through the weed whacking when Cheryl called down from the upstairs window that the twins were fussing. I finished up quickly and then came inside.
Cheryl had Megan changed and handed me Maribeth. Both girls wanted some noshes and apparently so did the older M's - though Madeleine needed some encouragement to leave her (imaginary) lollipop store to come to the table.
We got breakfast cleared and the children dressed without too much trouble, but we had to put in a kids' DVD so we could both shower, Cheryl upstairs and me downstairs, in time. Thankfully the kids pretty much stayed put while we were using the bathrooms. Cheryl had some trouble with her contacts and her rosin mysteriously disappeared. (Of course none of the children had any idea what rosin is.) We gave up the hunt, but it was still nip and tuck to get ourselves ready to go by the time Gail and Dad arrived at noon.
Cheryl's impressions and mine of the concert are very different. Her point of view is heavily weighted by having participated in these sorts of events since her early teens. Still she was nervous, as it has been a few years since she last regularly played in a musical ensemble of any kind. Now that it is over she seems to be relatively pleased with the result, though she is a little unhappy that the next practice isn't until September, when the 2005/2006 season resumes.
I, on the other hand, was not exposed much to concerts of this type. It wasn't for lack of appreciation. My family wasn't particularly musical and I chose to focus on other areas of interest as a young person. It was only later on life that I decided that I wanted to have a musical home - and now it seems that I have got my wish.
During the concert I had goosebumps as some pieces were played. Barber's Adagio for Strings was one of those pieces - though I felt the violins were not as strong as they could have been. It's unfortunate because the other sections did very well in setting up the structure for the violins to sing over, if that makes any sense to you.
Setting the Endpin - Before the concert - which was kind of tricky as we had to find dents or cracks in the floor.
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.
I really appreciated the soloist who came in to do Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue - as that is both an icon of American music and a personal favourite. The symphony did very well overall, but I couldn't help but note where where entrances by various sections were not as crisp as they could have been or some key instruments faltered a bit under the withering pace set by the soloist.
The other pieces performed were not as familiar to me - well, except for 'The March of the Toys' - but they were all engaging and performed very well.
The concert was professionally recorded by a local outfit which donates their services to the Symphony. After it was over I asked if copies could be had of the recording, but was told that the recording was made purely for archival purposes and only symphony members would get copies - most likely at the concert post mortem next fall.
We met our friend Sharon at the concert and afterwards she invited us to stop by her house for a short visit. While we were there Sharon offered us her late husband's electric piano - which he had purchased for his church a number of years before. We were utterly surprised and elated to find that it was not just any keyboard, but a Roland ep7. Sharon, who has always been interested in the development of our children's interests, wanted us to have it for the M's musical education.
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.
It is now set up in its own corner of our living room; patiently waiting for Michael to discover it.