I bet over the years I’ve gone to 100 holiday concerts.
Some were mine, as a child. Some of my favorites then were the ones at Euclid Senior High, where old chorus director Sam Taylor taught the Hallelujah Chorus, from Handel’s Messiah, and each year any alumni in the audience came on stage to sing along. What a powerful feeling as that music swelled! That Handel music is still one of my preferred Christmas indulgences.
Then as I became a parent, we had multiple performances from preschool onward for B, who was an attention magnet, and always ready to be on stage. There were also orchestral performances from S, and choral bits from M, during a time when we lived in a community that included a great number of Mexican farmworkers, so the concerts were spiced with Spanish Christmas tunes as well.
When K came along, she preferred the trumpet, so we had several years of those performances. She, however, eventually moved on to backstage endeavors, and actually became stage manager for the high school a full year before most kids did, running the lights and all aspects of not only school functions but rentals as well.
The Captain tried an instrument; not so much. However, he does enjoy singing, and has done chorus for a couple of years now. Last night was his first “real” concert with a hundred kids on the big high school stage.
There he was as the event opened, sitting RIGHT NEXT to the piano, where the chorus teacher who’s been there forever had him in yardstick distance. We figured that was a bad sign.
There were a half a dozen songs, and about halfway through the first one, I could see the Captain’s nervous tics start rotating through. I really felt for him. (After all, a year ago, when he performed in front of the sixth-grade and parents group he ran off stage and said he was going to throw up.) The facial tics got stronger, but he followed along with the teacher, stood up and sat down as required and stayed in his seat, instead of wandering the place.
He’d said he had some sort of solo, which surprised us, because he’s one of those singers who makes up in volume what he might lack in correct tone. In the program we saw he was one of those chosen to lead the singalong with the audience for “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.” So we waited. And hoped.
When his song came up, he walked proudly to the microphone, tics and all, and belted it out with the best of them. If you hadn’t known he had some issues, you wouldn’t have known it then. He took his bow and sat again, beaming, and so were we, even Little Miss, who kept saying, “That’s my brother up there!” A fine moment all around, and well worth making it concert # 101.