Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! 12/13/09

A week ago today, 67 members of the Alvirne Band Program volunteered to perform at the E. Derry Tree Lighting Ceremony. We boarded 2 busses about 5:15 p.m. and headed out!
We were extremely well received and the performance was exceptional. After the performance we were treated to homemade goodies, finger sandwiches as well as hot apple cider.
I would like to thank all the parents who helped out at the tree lighting SCHELPING stands and larger musical instruments. A special "Thank You" to Chris McNally and Brian Holt. Also, Brian's lights sere very helpful in viewing the music.

During the week, I was envisioning a repeat of last year with the Holiday Concert being cancelled as Wednesday (Dec. 10) there was no school due to inclement weather. Again, I need to applaud about 13 individuals who helped brave the weather and came to Alvirne that afternoon to help set up. Kudos to Brian Holt, Chris McNally, Tim and Joe Cerato, Anthony Condo, Kyle Garnick, Matt Sidilau, Jon Jarvis, Cam McNally, Ashley Iannaco (representing the choir) and now considered a token band girl (tbg), Russ Magnuson and special kudos to Mrs. Bastien. Hopefully, I did not forget anyone as I did not take attendance and I am depending on this old memory :-)
Special thanks to Dave Joki (custodian) for bringing 115 chairs from the music room (first floor) to the gymatorium on the second floor of Alvirne. We began setting up for the concert around 3:00 p.m. schelping stands, instruments, sound and lighting gear to the second floor - we finally finished the preparations roughly around 8:00 p.m. Mrs. Beaton was at school that evening doing the finishing touches for the Holiday Program and I was able to finalize many aspects of the concert during the day. Mrs. Bastien and I actually made it home that night at a reasonable hour.
Concert day (Thursday) was one of the most relaxing of concert days that I remember - as much of the work was done the day/ night before and I had plenty of time to pick up extra music stands and a keyboard at Hills Garrison.
The concert- well I could write a couple of more blogs on that night but just view the pictures , listen to the videos talk to former students who attended as well as parents, friends and the general public and you will know that it was a very succesful event. I am truly proud of my instrumental students and their performances - BRAVO! ! !
I would be remiss if I did not take time to thank the Alvirne High School Friends of Music who volunteered to watch the music room, help prepare the stage for the second half of the show, run the spotlight and for all the help at the end of the night - you guys were AWESOME -Mrs. Beaton and I could not have such a spectacular event without your thoughtfulness and willingness to help!
The scholarship committee did an outstanding job with raffle items and the 50/50. Enthusiasm, team work and partnersips with many Hudson businesses was evident by all the wonderful prizes! Again, many thanks to Mrs. Dawn Egan and her committee!

This week the concert band and jazz band will begin working on Cabaret music as well as some FUNdamentals -like solfege, sight reading and lots of technique. Maybe a couple of quzzes are in order before the holiday break :-)

December 17 @ 7:00 p.m. - the Alvirne Jazz Band will be performing at the Rodgers Memorial Library. Please tell all your friends - the concert is FREE!

The title of my blog "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" is about a great week that I had as a band director/music educator. It was a real high beginning with last Sunday evening's performance - the long hours really do pay off and the satisfaction of seeing my students succeed in the performance arena is a great feeling. Seeing so many alum at the concert and the friendships that have been made these last 14 years at Alvirne is very rewarding.
That being said - the weekend was very sad for me. My piano teacher (who I began studying with when I was 13 and actually returned for a short while to lessons in 2003)- Charlie Banacos had succumed to Cancer at the age of 63. Charlie was the reason why I went into teaching and the person I have always tried to emulate. I could go on, but these memories are very private and more rewarding today than anyone will ever know.

Time to shut down - blogs are not suppose to be dissertations :-)

Good Night!
Mr B