My younger boy plays the tuba. He started in elementary school with the trumpet - like more than half of the fourth grade, lol. Slowly, the band winnowed. He was switched to the baritone in the 6th grade, and played that until the summer before 8th grade. (Coincidentally, this is the same exact trajectory my older boy took, and he played the tuba until 11th grade at his private high school.)
At that time, we started looking at high school. My older daughter attends a very prestigious (public!) performing arts school for Vocal music, and after seeing the school in action for two years, I've come to feel that it would be a really good place for my son.
Only one problem - there's no baritone/euphonium in the orchestra. It's strictly a band instrument. So we'd need to determine an instrument that a) he could play and b) not everyone in the world would be auditioning with. His band teacher - a most excellent fellow, probably the most musically talented individual I've ever met - suggested the tuba.
This despite the fact that, at the time, my kid weighed about 60 pounds. As did the tuba in the case. No, wait - that's not true. It was about 39 pounds.
(This is the only picture I took at the audition. He was too nervous to allow me to take any others.)
He worked so hard all summer, and all through the fall and winter, to learn the tuba. It's not easy to do so, especially when you are in the band and the music, after five years together, has gotten more advanced - and everyone else is playing with five years of instruction under their belts - but he persevered.
The audition for the performing arts school was in January. It was a struggle to get there, and we had to carry that tuba up 5 flights of stairs, and it was no joke. He was super nervous - and he was kept in the audition for a good long while, longer than we'd been prepared for - and although he'd worked really hard on the chromatic scales in addition to his 2 musical selections, he wasn't asked to play the scales.
Neither of us could make heads or tails of that. Did they like him, and not ask about the scales because they'd already decided to accept him (my mind set) or did they decide he wasn't going to be accepted, so it didn't really matter if he could do those stupid chromatic scales (guess who thought this??)
He was nervous but felt like he'd done his best, we went for a celebratory lunch and then, we commenced to the waiting.
We were told April. Don't look for a letter until April. Dude, that's a LOOOONNNGG time for a kid and his mom.
Today, my daughter texted from performing arts school. Letters were mailed.
Today, I went to get the mail. I rifled through it standing at the curb and mentally consigned it all to the recycle bin. There was a form in it that needed to be shredded, though, so I didn't drop it all in the bin on my way back into the house. I looked through the mail again, just to be sure, and saw nothing exciting - unless you count a mailer from my Congressman exciting, which, hello, I don't.
And, for some reason, I looked through it again, and out popped a letter I would SWEAR wasn't there. It was from the performing arts school.
I ripped it open, and the top of the letter said absolutely nothing. See that folded line? The letter, from the first two lines, made me think he'd not been selected.
It wasn't until I opened it all the way, read the second half, and grabbed the cardstock that dropped out, that I saw.
And I am not ashamed to admit that I cried.
I am so delighted for my kid. He has really worked his tail off, because it's not only musical talent but academic as well - and it is an amazing opportunity for him - and it's through the public school system. Absolutely top notch, professional training,
A friend on Facebook started taking Dance Breaks a few times a day, and I read her updates and said, Yeah, whatever. And then I watched this video and vowed, right then and there, to start my own daily Dance Breaks. We should ALLLLL do it. Dance Breaks for everyone.