The performance we were most looking forward to though was the winter concert, her first concert, with the school band. Rehearsals always occur while i'm at work so I'd never heard the band play before. John, Grandma, and the twins were all there. The twins have several friends who were there to watch because they have older siblings in one of the bands as well. Erin is in beginning band which is mostly fourth graders, following that performance was the intermediates which are mostly fifth graders.
She sits next to her good friend, Anna.
Band is really popular and it's quite a big group. The concert was about what you'd expect from a fourth grade band--clearly missed notes here and there, a persistently squeaky clarinet, but it was music, and according to Erin, none of these kids played had experience with their instruments before September except her--she began private lessons in June. The band played a variety of simple, recognizable songs over about 40 minutes. All the kids seemed to be taking the performance very seriously.
On some of the songs the entire band played together, on others the band director announced the "soloists" who would stand and play as a smaller group, which seemed to be about 1/3 to 1/2 of the kids on a given song. Erin was one of the altos selected to play during one or two of those songs. All the kids who were interested in having a "solo" stayed late after practice last week to audition for the parts, and Erin mentioned that she auditioned but didn't know the results.
Then the director stood and said, "And now we'll have a real solo by Erin, playing 'Jingle Bells'."
Um.....WHAT??? Erin didn't tell us ANYTHING about her having a solo. That was my first thought, followed by, "How well does she know Jingle Bells?"
Yeah, she missed a couple of notes, yeah, her tempo needs a little help, but overall I think she did great particularly because of all the practicing I've heard her do in the past many weeks and months, I never heard her play Jingle Bells.
She got some enthusiastic applause and lots of compliments at school today from kids and parents alike.