A message from 1972

No matter what we get out of this

I know we'll never forget

Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

If you were there with the rest of us, then you know that last night wasn't your average school concert.

Where else does the principal accompany the school's orchestra, the new Vice Principal take up an instrument SPECIFICALLY to join the orchestra and an entire gym of 5th and 6th graders rock out together to end an orchestra concert?

When does orchestra ever get the "cool factor"? Not often!

Man, it sure did last night. The orchestra teacher said that she planned this as a farewell concert in case the budget didn't pass, and 5th and 6th grade music programs were cut. "I wanted to go out with a bang!"

The budget passed, so it was a musical celebration instead.

It brought back memories for me. Deep, meaningful memories. Years of lessons in school (that I hardly practiced for - so there's a pang of regret) and countless orchestra and choir practices, concerts every year from 4th grade through 12th. Some of my most important friends I have connected to through music. Playing cello, singing in various choirs and playing piano for 12 years, music has always been important to me. The best summers of my childhood were spent at a choir camp outside of Toronto.

Still, I think I faintly heard my mother's voice saying "PAYBACKS!" when there were some squeaky notes and what American Idol judges refer to as "pitchy"...

And while I think C will choose other opportunities over music in the future, I am glad that she will have one awesome memory - the whole school rocking out together. Two orchestras plus a ton of extra help - kids, professional musicians, teachers and staff working together to make a room rock!

Keeping music alive for 5th and 6th graders in BRRSD schools was worth a yes vote! I can't live through my kids - I don't want to try - but I am grateful that music was the cornerstone of my childhood, and that my daughter has had a taste of how special a fun performance can be.

During the concert I sent a text message to HK, daughter of Mrs. K, my orchestra teacher in 4th-6th grades and then in high school. I wrote:

"At my daughter's 5th grade orchestra concert. Thinking of you, your mom and Mr. Cavuto" (our tough Jr high orchestra teacher).

Her response "awesome memories".

Am glad that C will have at least one too! Hopefully she'll be lucky enough to be in contact with NR who sat next to her during last night's performance... and they can reminisce about their Principal rockin' with 'em back in 2009.

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