Sunday, April 17, 2011

Orchestral Supporters are way better than Athletic Supporters

Tuesday, my son JoJo (Jack) reminded me that he had a concert. He said it was a fundraiser for the high school auditorium, so it was a pay to get in deal. To keep my costs down, only Ben and I went. It turned out being the best 10 bucks I've spent in a long time. The performances were worth much more than that. I was sorry to see that the show was not sold out. In fact it is ironic that it wasn't. Why do some parents support beginning students only to stay at home when the kids start sounding good?

In Utah, students can start taking band in the 6th grade. (Orchestra students can start in the fourth grade if their parents drive them to the one school that offers a 6:50 to 7:30 class -- Naji will be in fourth grade next year, and is all signed up to start his viola adventure.) My experience with 6th grade band concerts is that they are held in the gym, with two walls of bleachers pulled out and extra chairs set out on the gym floor. It ends up being standing room only, unless a parent arrives early.

Seventh grade is much the same. Eighth and ninth grade concerts are held in the lunchroom because the middle school auditoriums are much too small. These concerts are a little easier to find seating, but even then, I have seen people standing at the holiday concerts.

But by the time a student enters high school, and can actually play, parent support appears to drift off. I know that much of this comes from high school students being able to drive themselves, but I can't help but be sad that some parents miss out on these magical performances.

Jojo asked me to mention, that when the PVHS orchestra played the Carnival of the Animals the following day for regionals, he did not squeak his clarinet -- and the orchestra will be continuing on to the State Level of competition.

This next piece is the PVHS Ska band playing a medley. Check out Joe's sax solo. -- He's the only one on an alto sax.

I wasn't prepared to video any of the pieces, but at the last minute I remembered I had my iPad in my purse. I am pretty happy with the audio quality it captures (not a paid advert). I was even able to edit it and upload it from the iPad. I love learning new things.

Four years ago, when Macey was a senior, He played with the PVHS Ska band as well. Here's a flashback to that time :)


  1. The orchestra sounded great! They were very small to sound so great. Was it just a select orchestra? The clarinet solo was fantastic. I find it is usually the band kids that get all the solos in the orchestra but they sometimes aren't of a high enough caliber to keep up. Joe was a highlight rather than a distraction. The second video didn't work. It was private. I enjoyed seeing Mason. They were very good. He's a pretty talented musician!

  2. No, that's our entire orchestra. 12ish-13ish violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos(3 in this video because we borrowed one from the middle school), and 2 basses (1 in this video because I was playing clarinet).

  3. The second video is now public. I think I have published the Utah orchestra statistics before. By high school 9 our of 10 orchestra students have dropped out of music. The kids who stay are pretty motivated. The first chair violinist is the sterling scholar for the region. She played a solo piece that would have been the highlight of a college senior recital.

  4. that should read 9 out of 10