Monument School’s Spring Concert went well. Quite well. Actually, it was the most rewarding concert of which I have been a part. The kids were terrific. It has been almost a week since the concert, and I am sorry for not writing sooner. Immediately after the concert I drove to Fossil and Condon to work with my colleague out there. I was tired and just wanted to drink a beer, to take a deep breath. My computer also refuses to connect with his wi-fi, so I couldn’t post anything… These are the excuses I could give you, and they would be true. They would, however, not be the entire truth.
As the concert came to a close I thought about what I might say. There was the high school rock band that actually got a couple of people dancing. Fourth graders sang a cappella in three-part harmony and hammered out their own body percussion parts. Certainly, that was the most advanced thing I had ever seen any group of young boys perform. Perhaps I could tell you the story of the young man, sixth grader, that ran up to me with his parents and embraced me saying, “Thank you.” There was a music teacher that choked back tears as his kids sang “We Shall Overcome.” In the end there was a young student of music that stood back and watched a town come together.
These musings have gathered a dedicated following. At least, a following of more than just my parents. I fear that telling you simply how great the kids were is kind of anti-climatic. Did anybody think that they were going to fail? Certainly, I was nervous, but in their ability I had confidence and they in mine. All of the aforementioned happened, and more. Thus, in terms of during the concert, everything was exceptional. Many of them performed as they ought, many more performed greater than expected. Most of them want to know what’s next. Therein lies the lesson of the evening. The work is not finished.
A handful of children want to continue with lessons, and so we shall. The high school rock band has the inaugural Monument Music Festival on May 31st. Younger kids want to know if they can finally play music games and listen to all those pieces that I needed to set aside. Do not worry, they will become impatient with me if we do not continue with music. Indeed the concert went well, but the kids reminded this beleaguered conducting student that the great work of music is learning about it and sharing it with each other. A concert is like a palate cleanser at the end of a gourmet dinner. You did all this work to finally achieve one little goal, and the point of that goal is to prepare you for tomorrow.
So today I walked into my room, and started working again. As stands were raised, and instruments were tuned we took a moment to remember what had been. Abruptly, kids took a look at their charts and asked, “What do we start with?”