Wednesday, May 9, 2012

There's Music In The Air

It's no secret that I am thrilled to have two resident musicians!  I love listening to them practice at home and hearing them talk about how  much they love band.  I loved band.  I really wish I had been more serious about it and stuck with it once out of high school.  Unfortunately, I didn't do that, so now I get to enjoy it through my own kiddos.  (No, I am not trying to live through them, just enjoying every moment!)

I was really looking forward to Ben and Abby's spring band concert this year.  This was Abby's first band concert, so it was exciting to hear the whole band finally come together.  In 6th grade, the students only have the option of starting out on the flute, clarinet, trumpet or trombone.  After learning the basics, the students are given the opportunity to switch to something new.  This is when the saxophone, baritone, tuba, oboe, bassoon, etc. are added to the band.  Finally, about a week before the spring concert, all of the sections (who have worked separately) come together and prepare for the concert.  It's pretty amazing!  It's hard to believe that the sounds that come from such a new group sound so good!
Barn Dance Saturday Night

Abby received an Outstanding Achievement Award for her first year of band.
I wasn't really sure how Abby would do in band, but she has completely exceeded my expectations!  I am so proud of her!  I know she is going to continue to be a great clarinet player!

The Shadow Warriors

On to Ben's group...

Monterey March
The 8th graders played this for their district contest and received all superior ratings!
(They earned something else, which had not been done in eight years, but I can't remember what it was.  I just know that their band teacher was very pleased.)
The students that participated in All-District Honor Band and Solo & Ensemble were recognized.  Ben was recognized for both.  (:

I was stunned when I heard Ben's name called for the Evald Nordstrom Memorial Award!  I didn't have a chance to take a picture of Ben receiving his award due to my shock and wiping the tears off of my face.  This is an award that is given to one 8th grade student each year for showing outstanding leadership.  The award comes with a $100 savings bond and student's name engraved on a plaque that remains in the band room.  What an honor!  I couldn't be more proud of Ben!!

Canal Street Clambake
Ben got to be one of the five in the jazz ensemble that got to stand and be featured in this fun, jazzy piece. He was pretty proud of it and so was I!

For the last two pieces at the concert, the 7th and 8th grade bands joined together.  The two bands traveled to Kansas City to play at a contest.  Not only did they get superior ratings, but they ended up with the highest score in their division!  It was a proud day for the students and the band teachers!

As The Dawn Breaks

Bayview March

Ben and Abby with their band teacher, Ms. Benford.
We all love her!

It has been our tradition to go get ice cream after each of the kids band concerts.  This was our last one of the year.

Ben invited a couple of his buddies to join us for ice cream after the concert.  I love that Ben has some good friends!  These boys are great!  (And they like Luke too, which is a plus!)

I am so proud of Ben and Abby and the progress they have made this year.  I am cautiously optimistic that both kids will continue to practice once school is out. I have already talked to Ben's trombone instructor and Abby's band teacher about doing lessons over the summer.  (And yes, Ben and Abby are both ok with that.)

Next step for Ben:  Marching band!  He is SO excited!
To say that I am excited would be a complete understatement!


Karen said...

WOW! Way to go both Ben and Abby! Abbers I love that you play the clarinet! I really enjoyed it and wish I would have stayed up with it out of HS. Ben~Super excited for you and ALL you have accomplished already even before HS! Keep it up! God gave you both a gift and I'm sure he's smiling that you are using it! :O)

Mom said...

WOW!! I actually feel like I was at the concert. I am so PROUD of both Ben and Abby. I am so excited that they both enjoy band. I know you are going to be excited about marching band. Wish we didn't live so far away. I would love to be able see them march. Maybe someday!!