Friday, July 30, 2010

The Evolution of a Band Camper

Our son attended band camp this week, his first time. Ya see, he's going into high school, entering ninth grade, and this is his first taste of high school - before everyone attends that is. He plays saxophone.

MONDAY: First day: Hey buddy, why don't you go lay down for a bit." he said, "no, I'm okay, I'm not tired, I'm just exhausted." Exactly :-).
After a shower, he plopped himself down on the couch, and sitting up, promptly went to sleep with his chin propped up by his arm.

TUESDAY: End of day two: We're out at our local favorite Mexican establishment for dinner, enjoying the chips n' salsa. He says, "I'm not sure I can do this. There is so much music to learn, I just don't think I can do it." I told him, "listen my man, it's only been two days. You can't learn it all in two days. Cut yourself some slack." Fortunately he's an over achiever, but the side effect is you can put too much stress on yourself. Mom and I are giving each other the "look" across the table.. uh oh.. is this the beginning of the end of high school band? We put our own fears aside and see what tomorrow brings.

WEDNESDAY: Day three - hump day - here we go: I worked late so I was up late. Mom reports that our band camp survivor was energized this morning, ready to go. After last nights comments, this is a glimmer of hope. Mama decides to go pick him up a bit early, to hear the band. She is quite impressed at what they've learned in two days. He comes home and goes next door to play with a friend. This is a "normal" thing here. This is a very good sign.

THURSDAY: Which day is this? After mama's comments yesterday I tell her I want to go early today and hear the band myself. We enter the band room, my first time, and the band is playing. Frankly, I'm quite impressed. Such a full wall of sound assaulting us. My first impression is simply, Wow! Our band camper is obviously feeling the energy being a part of the band. This band director knows what he's doing, and the band follows his commands promptly and at attention. I've been thru this before with 2 other sons in high school band, and it was much larger than this one. They won a national award one year as the Best High School Band. So to hear our boy's band, although much smaller, put out such a wonderful sound, I am quite impressed.

FRIDAY: Last day. Band camper tells us "I wish this wasn't the last day of band camp." Mama and I almost fall out from this announcement. As we pull our jaws back up off the floor we realize he's made it! He gets it! He's become a part of the team, and he feels the pride and accomplishment in being involved in the band, which he also realizes his band sounds good.

And he went armed with his super soaker for the "after" activities which involve squirt guns and water balloons. So "this" is what it's like to be in band :-).

Tonight we dine! (at the band camp dinner for students and parents). What desert to bring? Hello, bakery? Yes, we'd like six dozen lady fingers for the wood wind players. 2 dozen eclairs for the tuba section, and how about a big ol' chocolate cake for percussion? Yep.. that sounds about right.

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