I am ALL for supporting my children in anything that they would like to do. I have the attitude that they can do anything they want, just not everything that they want. So, when we pick an activity, I stand behind them 100%
Tonight was Kyra’s Christmas Choir Concert. Her teacher has been a little demanding and required two after school rehearsals of an hour each and a specific dress code was to be adhered to. So, since I was in seminars this week and couldn’t be home after school, I arranged for Kaeson to stay after school so his sister could do her rehearsals. I packed up all of the kids as soon as I got home from work and bought a dress a for Kyra as we raced over to a live nativity (for which we could only stay a short time because Kaeson’s fuse was blown as a result of the unscheduled shopping trip.)
Today, after work, I hurried home, got the kids ready and got dinner started and realized the time. Kyra had to be at the school 45 minutes early or her grade would be docked. We got there 3 minutes late and a panicked 13 year old raced her way into the school for fear that her GPA would be shot.
I drove around the lot looking a spot to park. Apparently our 3 minute tardy had cost us a parking spot in the front of the school. So, we found an out of the way spot. I coerced two tired and cranky (from our the long evening the night before) little boys out of the car and hurried our way into the auditorium. It was already almost full. We sat down and commenced the 37 minute wait until the performance started.
Looking around, I saw that there were programs, so I sent Kaeson to go get one for me. He came back a moment later with a handful of programs (which is good in case we lose the first 15…. according the Kaeson.) I look inside and see the program…. three songs. THREE SONGS! This must be a misprint I thought. What concert that requires two after school rehearsals and a wardrobe requirement has only three songs?
Well, the lights go out in one foul swoop and a spotlight on the rises glares brightly. A tuxedo donned balding choir director prances his way out onto the stage and starts a overly dramatized speech, in a voice only heard in poorly executed community theater, lecturing the audience that this is a fine arts performance and not another run of the mill sporting event, that loud applause, whistles, calling out names and waving is severely inappropriate.
He ends his speech with a curtsey type movement and his arm swings from his side, palm side up towards the top of the auditorium, and he announces in almost a victorian accent, “And may I present to you….. My Choir…” A seemingly endless sea of students (over 100) came bounding down the auditorium steps and filing in onto the risers. It just never stopped. Student after student. I honestly to this moment, have no idea how they all got onto that tiny stage.
By this time, it is pretty obvious to me, and my dad, that this director is having some pretty intense compensation issues going on. The amount of flare and flamboyancy was certainly a draw for attention. If that was his intention, which let’s face it…. it totally was, completely worked except that it drew a really weird attention to him. In fact, he had the whole crowd snickering within moments of his speech.
The director sits down at the piano and raises his hands to play, only to stand up and adjust the height of the grand piano seat bench. He then repeats this same activity 3 more times. Seriously dude… you didn’t check the bench seat in one of the 45 minute rehearsals OR just before the concert started. At long last he is able to get his hiney comfy on the bench and raises his hands high above his head as he glares at the students in front of him. Then, in one fast movement, as though he is driving a massive blow to the earth as if to crack it in half, pounds that poor piano and a Christmas song of sorts begins. As he plays his hands are flying all over the place as if he was trying to combine playing the piano, baseball and charades all in one activity.
Exactly 11 minutes and 15 seconds after the first note was played on the piano, the director beats out one last chord on the piano. His head collapses deeply as though he has been shot in the back. I half expected him to fall off the bench. He slowly stood up and walked to the back side of the bench. The entire audience was silent wondering to themselves, “Was that really it…. surely this isn’t the end of the concert. It can’t be. It hasn’t even been 12 minutes yet….” The director raises his arms as though he was an eagle about to take flight and his body drops dramatically at the waist as he proceeds to give the longest, deepest bow I have ever witnessed…. let alone at a middle school 11 minute and 15 second performance.
The audience, semi unbelieving that that was the end of the concert started clapping slowly. As they clapped, the director walked to different parts of the stage as he repeated his ostentatious bow. After 9 salutations, each more deep and dramatic than the one proceeding it, the director looked up to the audience with his arms back in eagles flight position and proclaimed, “Thank you ever so much for your eternal support,” and turned and released the students to walk back to their families.
Kaeson looked at me and said, “What was that…. the rehearsals were like 45 minutes each.” My dad sighed and said, “Well, maybe you can go to a movie with them.” I sat their flabbergasted and a little annoyed. That was one big A production for 11 minutes and 15 seconds of singing. I glanced up to the exits where I saw parents and grandparents still filing in. I guess this will teach them to not be 13 minutes late to a performance ever again.
In the end, I don’t mind that we went to all of that effort to drag my kiddos all over town, missing activities and cutting others short, arranging sitters and inviting family. I am happy to spend a small fortune on concert attire and arrived 45 minutes early to the performance. I am fine doing those things to support my daughter in all that she wants to do. However, geez man, can we get the same effort from the director!
However, Kyra ended the concert beaming and was so proud to be part of the choir. THAT is what made it worth it.