It's performance season here at chez squid. At least for Squidette.
On Wednesday she performed with the New York City All-City High School Concert Band (All-City to those in the know) at the MetLife atrium.
As real New Yorkers know, the MetLife building is really the PanAm building but that is rather irrelevant to our tale.
The important thing, is that the atrium of the MetLife/PanAm building is a major entry way to Grand Central Station and hence a venue from which one can be seen by hundreds of people over the span of the concert.
While the families, and some lucky bystanders, got to sit, most of the commuters experienced the concert as they strolled by or above the venue. Many took video or pictures on their phones and most gave huge smiles to see and hear the teens performing classic concert band standards with a few classic holiday tunes tossed in for good measure.
I just thought it was awesome that so many people got a taste of what can happen when kids are taught to play and enjoy music.
And then I got sad as Mike told me that All-City was just so much bigger in his day.
We debated the reasons for this but my side is that fewer kids are being exposed to music in school. We spend so much time on reading and math that art and music, subjects that truly expand ones world view and exercise the brain in so very different ways, have gone by the wayside. And then I got sad when I thought of how badly these programs have been gutted financially.
Boro-wide (the junior high version of All-City) started at the very end of October this year instead of two weeks earlier so that the city could save the money on the instructors' salaries. And, there may not be a Carnegie performance for whichever boroughs were scheduled to play there this year because they couldn't get the down payment in on time. Again, due to budget cuts.
Makes me want to run a fundraiser for them. I already gave them money from my own wallet so it is time to get others to do the same. But after the holidays.
Meanwhile ... I give you Squidette and friends. No, she is not dating her stand partner (though he's a nice boy and I wouldn't object). And yes, he does kind of look (and act) like Little Squid (hence the reason she will probably never hook up with him). Doesn't really matter since she's not allowed to date until she's 30 ...
The performance, by the way, was awesome! And she has her first ever singing solo this Friday followed by a reprise of the MetLife performance at the All-City rehearsal school on Saturday.
And Little Squid? He auditioned for his school play last week and had a call back on Friday so you can expect some kvelling about him in the future.
Happy Hanuckah, folks!