Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Am I a Violinist Now?"

Little Sadie played in her first concert. Her first time playing in front of people who aren't other moms and dads and kids in our tight-knit Suzuki community. She and Benny played with the STAHR group in the lobby at Chrysler Hall, a warm-up act for the Virginia Symphony and Jennifer Koh. It was AWESOME!

First, let's talk about Sadie. She had total calm, total poise, complete concentration on her instrument. She put her fingers down in the right spot, kept her bow hold exactly perfect, and when she got behind a little bit she caught up without showing distraction or worry on her face. Amazing aplomb, this girl has. I was so proud I could have exploded. Here she is warming up:

Then let's talk about Benny. The last time Benny played with STAHR at Chysler Hall, he engaged in a lot of bow-jousting and eventually lay down on the floor luxuriously and kicked his feet in the air to the rhythm of the other kids' playing. Not a good performance. Last night he was focusing on the word "unison." Syncing up with other kids does not come easy for Benny -- he has to work very hard to be an ensemble player. Last night he did his very best yet -- seeing his bow going up and down in concert with all the other children really made me swell with joy. Here he is:

Sorry the pictures are so bad -- all I had was my phone for pictures and video, as I seem to have lost my camera, along with my mind.

Anyway, I stood and cried all the way through it, just so proud of my tiny little girl and my smart big boy, both doing their very best in their own way. They just astonished me. It was a true delight.

Yesterday's schedule:

9:30 Leave for canvassing with Ahno.
10:00 Canvassing launch
1:00 Pick up kids from home.
2:00 Finish canvassing.
2:30 Drop off packet to organizers.
3:00 Grocery shopping to get food for pot luck.
3:30 Shoe shopping -- Benny's dress shoes were too small.
4:00 Home and pop focaccia in oven.
4:15 Arrive late at STAHR rehearsal and drop off children.
4:20 Home to get focaccia and concert clothes and whatnot.
4:40 Back at violin school, set out food, watch rehearsal.
5:00 Pot-luck dinner with Suzuki family including guests from Harrisonberg violin program.
6:00 Change clothes, change children's clothes, head to Chrysler Hall.
6:45 Arrive Chrysler Hall early, wander about, knit.
7:00 Tuning and warm-up.
7:30 Performance.
8:00 Go into concert hall to see the Virginia Symphony and Jennifer Koh performint Saint Saens' Symphonie Fantastique.

When I settled into my seat at the end of the day, I was exhausted, but in my mind were the voices of my children. On the way down the stairs from the dress circle after their set was over, I was raving about how proud I was of Benny and he said, "Mom, did it blow your heart?" Yes. And Sadie, looking up at me with glowing eyes, so revved up, so electrified by the performance, said this: "Mom, am I a violinist now?"

One more video. The tiny blob right in front of the teacher is Sadie Grace. Benny is behind the piano. I know the video is low quality but doesn't it sound beautiful?


  1. I'm so proud of Sadie. she's so cute.

  2. Sadie, you are a violinist! You are amazing.

    What great news about Benny, very cool.

    Lydia, just reading about your day has made me tired.