Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Chorus Christmas Show

I know I'm supposed to call it the Holiday Show, but I'm too ornery. The school chorus I started had its Christmas Show, and I am happy to say all went well, mostly.

I'll give the good news first.

Our performance had 139 third, fourth, and fifth grade singers crammed onto the risers, and my chorus is the largest public school chorus in the United States.

We had almost 700 people in attendance, making it the largest audience we have ever had.

The chorus and the soloists performed admirably. The hightlight of the show for everyone was a fifth grade soloist, Derrick, who is phenomenal. The audience went crazy over him. First, he loves performing. Second, he has a lot of experience. I have taught him for two previous years, and this show was his fifth working with me as a soloist. Third, he has so much talent. He has the looks, the sound, the charisma, and the naturalness. Performing is easy for Derrick. Last, he has worked with professionals locally in other venues and shows, both as an actor and a singer.

The Director, Lauren, did a commendable job considering this is her first effort at directing without my guidance, and most importantly, directing with an audience. Teachers call that affective assessment, the toughest and most stressful type of test of all.

Now for the bad news.

The moment I walked into the Community Center where we performed, I was "under the gun." Criticism roared at me from the six directions (north, south, east, west, up, and down). The fire department is across the street, and some swell parent with a genuine gripe that they didn't have a seat called the the fire department and complained that we were breaking the fire code. The Fire Marshall came for a visit, and sure enough promptly gave the Community Center a citation for breaking the fire code by having too may people crowded into too small a space. It was beyond standing room only; audience members were blocking the exits and standing in the hallways in order to get a good view. People that arrived an hour early were surprised to discover that the best seats available were in the fifth row. We were very fortunate the Fire Marshall didn't shut down our show.

Otherwise, all went well. We did it!

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