Friday, October 04, 2013

Well, How 'Bout That?

What a week.

In a good way.

Last night was the evening of Drive!, my first concert as choir director at GB. Was I nervous? Does a bear...? Yeah. I was nervous!

Here's the thing: I knew, going in, that my kids were ready. They've been sounding great in rehearsal, they've been working hard. We had a few kinks we'd been ironing out, and even as late as the end of class on Thursday I was worried that a few of those kinks may show at the concert. But then I figured, you know, at this point, it's out of my control. Gotta just let it happen.

So it happened. And it was great. The kinks basically disappeared, my kids were super-calm (I was the nervous wreck), and by the end of the first half, I could breathe again.

The feedback has been great. The most important feedback for me is how my students feel, and they were really proud of themselves. Everything I could hear over the nervous buzzing in my head all evening sounded great. The parents loved it, especially that one song was entirely arranged by the class itself. Even my own parents were there (of course they were!) and they, of course, loved it.

Of course, there are things we will want to improve on--that's the whole point of what I do, raising the bar, helping the students learn, learning more myself. But for a first show, two months into a new job, it was pretty darned good.

This morning, I had to sign and return an observation form to my principal. He wasn't in his office, so I handed it to his secretary, and she asked how the concert went. I was in the middle of telling her about it when she looked past me, and I realized that Mr. Principal had approached from behind. I'm not going to lie, I had been anticipating his reaction with a lot of nerves...after last year, when my very well-done concerts were trashed by the owner of Petite School, I was afraid of his reaction. Ridiculous? Absolutely. But, there you have it.

I turned to face my boss this morning, to find him grinning at me, and raising a hand to ask for a high-five. I grinned and slapped hands with him, as his voice boomed out across the main office, "That was great!!" We chatted for a few minutes, and he ended up doing something he has never done before--making five certificates up for performers he thought did an above-and-beyond job last night, and delivering them during my class time today. It meant a lot to all of us that he did this, especially as he acknowledged one girl who had performed a solo song and had to restart her song after completely freezing up at the start. She came back from that and did a beautiful job (she has a great voice), but, as we do, she was really beating herself up over it after, crying in the choir room. He gave her the Most Courageous Performance commendation, and even though she shuffled up to take it, and looked down as she accepted it, she also smiled, blushed, and whispered, "Thank you..." to him as her classmates applauded.

I almost cried. Proud? You have no idea.

Today, obviously, I am absolutely worn-out. A Friday night at home, catching up on "The Young Turks" on YouTube and drinking tea, was just what I needed. October promises to be just as busy, just as fun. We've got Bonfire, Homecoming, a Halloween trip to the middle schools to sing in costume. I've got a weekend in Wine Country with Summer, a Sac Choral concert. Being so busy again makes me happy.

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