Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring Jazz Band Concert 2013

The Hume-Fogg Jazz Bands had their Spring concert on Friday night. It was Daniel's "last hurrah" and in my humble opinion, it was the best school concert I've attended! Daniel was in one of the jazz combos that performed two songs arranged my members of the combo. One of the songs was primarily a rhythm song and most of the other players were on auxilliary percussion while Daniel was on the drum set. Kind of fun to see since the rhythm section is usually in the background. The Silver Jazz Band played nine songs and received a well-deserved standing ovation. Daniel told me later that the week prior to the concert, everyone had not felt ready to perform and there had been some conflicts. It sure wasn't evident to the audience on the night of the concert, but maybe that's what made the performance so great!

As part of the Spring concert, the band director reads cards that the seniors in the Silver Jazz Band have written and tells what each one's college plans are. I wish I had verbatim what Daniel wrote, but it was in his typical "punny" and humble style, and he and the band director, Dr. Ripani, joked about what an awful decision Daniel is making by planning to major in music in college. Before the concert, I got a chance to say thanks to Dr. R. for all of his work and encouragement to Daniel throughout these past four years. He laughed and told me that he has "ruined" Daniel's life.

Dr. Ripani has been very supportive of Daniel's pursuit of playing the drums and helped him as much as he could in the whole auditioning and application process. I know that he's proud of Daniel and the other seniors who are planning to major in music in college (even though he made sure to let them know that it wouldn't automatically be a lucrative career). When the band president made a presentation to Dr. Ripani at the concert, she made the point that while he has definitely taught them about how to play music and how to strive for excellence in it, he has more importantly made an impact on them in how he cares about their lives and taught them life lessons that they can carry with them as they move on to college and beyond.

The band program at Meigs Magnet Middle School and at Hume-Fogg High School has been a huge part of Daniel's school experience over the past eight years. I could not have paid for the music education Daniel received there, since he had music class almost every school day, especially the past three years. I'm so thankful for the teachers that put in way above and beyond their required hours to make an impact on their students' lives.

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