Okay, first of all, they prefaced it with a spaghetti feed fundraiser. Which could have been pretty bad, but they actually worked it out pretty well by staggering the start times of the concerts by grade and event (band, choir, orchestra), which staggered the parents' arrivals at the spaghetti feed. Nathan's group was one of the last, but they were constantly bringing out fresh food, so it was all good.
But I'm getting ahead of myself a bit. Nathan's group was one of the last (or even THE last, I'm not quite sure), as I said above, which meant that when I arrived, there weren't many parking spots left. So I had to park in the far end of an overflow lot. And it's December at 44 or so degrees north. It gets dark by 5:00 p.m., and it was now 6:15 or so. They apparently haven't sprung for lights in any of the parking lots, but especially not the one I parked in in BFE. I could have backtracked to the entrance of the parking lot to at least stay on pavement, but my car was just about even with the gym, so I hoped that there would be a door unlocked on that side of the building, so I tromped through the grass and up a small hill to get there. Yay for a flashlight app on my phone, and for a little LED light on my keychain.
However, boo for doors not being unlocked. There was a sidewalk along the gym, so I used it, but alas, no unlocked doors. I could see Nathan's dad and stepmom (and Nathan, of course, and his brother) inside, but couldn't get to them. Finally, the sidewalk ended at a service entrance, and I once again had to tromp through the grass and up a different small hill and back onto a sidewalk that finally led to the front door. Lame. It wouldn't be so bad if any of that had been lit other than by the ambient light streaming out of the windows of the cafeteria. But I finally got indoors, got some spaghetti, chatted with Nathan's other parents a bit, etc. etc. etc.
Finally, it was almost time for the concert to start. We found our seats. The students started filing in, carrying their instruments (well, except for percussion, whose instruments were strategically placed before they arrived). And sort of except for Nathan. He was carrying his trumpet. But all the other students had their instruments out and ready, and he was carrying his in its case. Odd, but whatever. But he didn't find his way to his seat. He kind of wandered around in the back, and eventually the band teacher helped him find a chair and a music stand and kind of wedged them in behind the trumpets and trombones. So maybe the other groups who had played earlier had slightly fewer students, and they didn't either set up the maximum number of chairs needed, or didn't bother to transition for the larger group after the smaller one? Whatever.
Then they started playing. I've been in a band as a young inexperienced child, and we knew we weren't GOOD, but we sure were proud. And once again, this group was NOT good, but we parents were proud just the same. These were sixth graders who most likely hadn't ever touched an instrument until 90 days ago. (If they'd taken lessons before, they're probably in one of the fancier bands, not the sixth grade band anyone can be in.) I'm tone deaf, and I could tell they sounded like a chorus of baboons in labor or something. But still...they were doing their best, and they had clearly learned and practiced and were learning to play as a group.
Here is what we parents
And finally, a photo, also from my phone, but zoomed in a bit, since you can't zoom the video, and it's hard to see him.
|Nathan is pretty much dead center in this photo, blowing his horn.|