Rodney M Bliss

My Granddaughter Almost Killed A Singer At The High School Choir Concert Last Night

Okay, maybe I bore some slight responsibility, but I’m pretty sure she was partly to blame.

It’s concert time for people with kids in school. With a half dozen high schoolers and a couple of junior high kids at my house, we have been to a lot of concerts in December: band, orchastra and choir. These are not the concerts you remember from when you were a kid. These are full on productions.

Pleasant Grove High School has nearly 2000 students. It’s a 5A school and excels in wrestling and volleyball. And at least 25% of the kids are involved in the music program at some level. The Junior High has 1400 students and probably about the same percentage. That’s hundreds of kids in each concert.

I know what you are thinking. How many times can you sit through a slightly off key version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town? Not at all what this is like.

My friend Caleb Chapman runs a professional high school band, The Crescent Super Band, here in Utah. While his is one of the few truly professional high school bands, the kids in our area are amazingly talented.

The high school “collage” concert was last week. It lasted about 75 minutes and featured 5 or 6 bands. Honestly, I don’t remember how many different groups performed. But, I do remember that there were countless entrances and exits. There were three conductors, often all conducting at the same time. There were hundreds of children moving around the performing hall. And the music never stopped. For 75 minutes the bands (and orchastras) moved seemlessly from one song to the next. Now we are hearing a percussion song. As they end, a jazz quintet picks up immediately. Then, an orchastra that has silently made their way on stage, picks up as soon as the quintet is finished.

As audience members, we were constantly being redirected to a different part of the auditorium. The only clapping allowed was to acknowledge a soloist. There simply wasn’t time between songs.

The choir concert was last night and it went nearly the same way. Seventy-five minutes, five choirs, 200+ performers, video interludes, and lots of moving pieces. And that’s where the poor kid almost died.

We were asked to keep the aisles clear. The performers filed on and off stage preparing for their chance to sing. These changes were typically performed in the dark as the lights were on the group currently performing. The performers also filed up and down the aisles. Okay, ran up and down the aisles.

I was holding my 18 month old granddaughter. The diaper bag wasn’t even that far out in the aisle. In fact, it was probably only the shoulder strap that the poor guy caught with his foot as he ran down the aisle at the front of column of also running teenage boys.

He didn’t fall, but just barely. The ones behind him also just barely didn’t fall.

I quickly handed the baby to my lovely wife.

Ah. . yeah. . excuse me. . .if I could just. . .and. . yeah. . .sorry. . .let me get that. . .

Ever seen that movie where the hero is trying to catch a ball that keeps getting kicked just out of his reach? Yeah, that was me fighting to collect up the bags of cheerios, extra clothes, diapers (clean!) and basically remove the tangled landmine out from under the feet of the boys just trying to get in position for their next number.

Yeah, sorry about that. Not what they meant when they said, “Break a leg.”

Great concert, guys!

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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