The Christmas concert 2015

As I dropped my son off ready for his school Christmas concert, I had a strange feeling of deja vu. Surely it wasn’t a whole year since the last one? Now he’s in year 10, these things are starting to become very familiar. This was his third concert! Then I stopped and thought again. No, it must have been his fourth. FOURTH? How did that happen? Sometimes it seems like he hasn’t been at secondary school long. And then I see the year 7s, who are about the size of my daughter and look so sweet and innocent and it dawns on me. Yes, he has been at secondary school a long time.

So there we were again.

This time my son had risen to the heady heights of school orchestra, which is made up mainly of years 11 to 13, plus some teachers and a handful of talented younger kids. When you’re in the actual orchestra, rather than the junior orchestra, you get to wear a black shirt rather than your school uniform. (He borrowed the shirt, tie and even shoes from my husband. Remarkably, he even polished his borrowed shoes.)

We’ve had issues with the orchestra. He wasn’t keen to go and skipped a few rehearsals. Would he cope with it?

But before the orchestra, there were lots of musical acts, including choirs, a jazz band and a folk band (which was awesome, I’d love him to join that). The first half of the concert was mainly about the younger kids.

My son played in two ensembles in the first half – the string group of violinists of all ages from year 7 upwards and senior strings for the older violinists. He looked confident and played well. It was strange to see him playing violin alongside a girl from his primary school, as though nothing had changed in four years (apart from they were a lot bigger and the pieces more complex).

Violin, Violinist, Son, School concert

It was lovely to see some of the year 7s who were in my younger son’s class at primary school performing too. It’s strange that we don’t see them or their parents any more (apart from the ones who play football or go to Scouts).

An added bonus of my son’s school concert is they always have a song by primary school choirs at the end of the first half. This year, my daughter absolutely didn’t need to do that. She’d got enough on her plate with the panto and had done two performances that day. But you try telling that to my daughter! The head teacher was flabbergasted that she was taking part, but he knows what she’s like, just as we do.

I was glad she did it as it was their school’s turn to be at the front of the stage and we could see her perfectly (in previous years she has been completely obscured). She walked onto the stage, still with her immaculate panto hair and sang her heart out with so much confidence and stage presence. She was always confident on a stage, but that has grown so much with the panto.

And so to the main event – the orchestra. They saved the best until last (much to my younger kids’ disgust as they were tired and bored and wanted to go home). It was a proud moment to see my son walking onto the stage with the orchestra. His violin journey has been a slow one. He’s pretty good, but has never pushed himself or tried hard. He would never give up though. He likes plodding along and making progress at his own pace. I wasn’t sure I would ever see him in the school orchestra.

But there he was. Playing some very complex, but entertaining pieces. They played a Looney Tunes medley, which my younger son loved, although my eldest wasn’t keen. Then they played a brilliant James Bond medley (although my younger son was disappointed there was no Writing’s on the Wall). A couple of times my son glanced nervously in our direction – I couldn’t tell if he was looking at us or his teacher, but he seemed to be coping with the pressure on the whole.

Afterwards, I could tell how he pleased he was that he’d done it.

And when I asked the all-important question, he shrugged and said ‘Yeah, I think I’ll do it again next year’.

He went way out of his comfort zone to play in the orchestra. I’m so glad he did it!

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Your older son sounds a like like me when I was his age (and still am to a certain extent)! I was always happy to be pretty good at something (dance) but nothing special and it’s much the same with the blogging (although I would like to be better, I just don’t have the time to put in the hours to make it more than a hobby). I’m so very impressed with your daughter! How on EARTH does she manage to do so much at such a young age?! She must have a pretty remarkable memory as well.

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    • I don’t know how my daughter does it either! She loves to perform and she lives to be busy. I think having danced for so long her brain is just very tuned in to music and dancing and she picks things up very quickly.

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  2. Looney Tunes medley sounds fab!

    I think it’s great when the kids can play an instrument. My lads play the guitar – the younger of the two gigs in local pubs – but I can only manage a one-fingered Three Blind Mice on a Bontempi lol 😀 Lovely post from a proud mama 🙂 X

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    • Ha ha, I’m like you! I could do Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on a kids’ organ when I was 9 and I can still remember it (as long as I remember numbers rather than notes!). I think being able to play music is a great hobby and has a lot of benefits for kids.

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    • Thanks very much! I’ve never done it myself, so that makes me extra proud! x

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  3. Ah good for him! I play the violin – well, I haven’t done for a few years but I have played in orchestras as an adult and would love to do so again if I had the time. I was like your son in that the violin was never a passion, but I think that has probably been the reason it’s stood the test of time for me – I didn’t have too much of it as a child and get fed up, I just picked it up as and when I wanted to – until the children came along of course!x

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    • Thanks very much. I like that – maybe that is why my son has stuck it out. He’s definitely progressing, but it’s a gradual progress! Seeing him in the orchestra was a very proud moment for me 🙂 x

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  4. I think I would have loved to have watched you son play all the James Bond tunes and the Looney tunes medley, I am a bit of an orchestra fan. I was a cornet player and that teamwork takes a certain skill I think. He did really well even though he didn’t sound too keen.

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  5. How fantastic, it sounds like it was an absolute joy to watch. I would love to have learned to play an instrument when I was younger. Thank you for sharing with #LoudnProud – Merry Christmas!

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