Last night was LLB's District Festival band competition. Her school's 7th and 8th graders joined forces for this competition. They play level 3 music - it's hard stuff for middle school kids. Most of the other bands play level 1 and 2.
The kids were practicing when I got to school. They sounded good. The moms had the pizza and sodas ready in the cafeteria. Mr. H, the band director, had the kids playing past the pizza time. The mothers - such chickens they are - told me to go and tell Mr. H that it was time to eat. "He likes you", they said.
I shrugged and went off to tell him that the pizza was ready. No biggie. He's such a cool guy.
Anyway, the kids enjoyed their pizza. Then they headed off to change into their black pants and white shirts. I had no idea how many styles of white shirts there are...
We loaded the buses and headed off to the competition venue. On the way, we handed out bow ties and cumberbunds. The kids looked good. They were excited. They were a little nervous - especially the 7th graders who had never done anything like this before. LLB has been involved, so she was pretty cool.
They took the stage. They were true professionals. (It always amazes me that one second they are goofy middle school kids, and as soon as they take the stage, they are truly professional musicians.)
LLB was first chair so she was on the end where we could see her.
Mr. H made sure the kids were comfortable. He said a few things to them that we couldn't hear. His hands went up. The instruments went up. His hands came down and it was magic - pure magic!!
They played all three songs perfectly. It was absolutely beautiful.
LLB had a solo in the second song. Mr. H turned to her and gave her her cue. (Right then and there I thought I might puke - I was so nervous for her!!)
She hit that first note exactly the way he wanted it. From there, it was simply stunning. Gram leaned over and whispered something like, "Wow!!" Mr. looked at me and grinned. LLB played it like she had never played it before. It was just wonderful!
(This was the solo that was given to an 8th grader who decided he didn't want to play it. It was a good thing, because every time the 8th grader played it in class, he made a mistake. LLB never made a mistake and last night it was even better - proving to each and every person out there - including those nasty boys who tried to psych her out - that she was the best trumpet player there.)
The audience hooted and hollered after each song. We basically made a scene. We gave them a standing ovation after their last song. None of the other bands got that. (I know this because Gram and Grandpa had watched the previous 2 or 3 bands.)
They scored a 1 across the board for their performance and they deserved it. They scored a 2 for sight reading, but that's okay. They scored a 1 over all.
Gram told me that the band right before ours played one of the same songs but that it didn't sound anything like what we played. She said our group was phenomenal. Yes, she is biased, but she's critical... She can tell a good performance from a lousy one.
On the way out to the car, 2 or 3 people including a judge, stopped Mr. H and told him that they were really impressed with his band. That sure did make his day!!
Mr. H was thrilled with the performance. He was proud of each and every kid. He was oh so proud of our LLB. (He told us so on the way back to school.) We are very proud of our sweet LLB - she plays a mean trumpet!! (And, she works really hard!)
I think I'll have to buy her the t-shirt she wanted...
It says, "Be nice to me or I'll beat you with my trumpet!"
She deserves it.
And... it suits her.