This year's musical at the high school is The Pajama Game
. My two kids are in the orchestra pit (or, as we've been calling it, The Pit). They've been practicing for a long time, and this week it's been every night until almost 10 pm.
And last night was the first performance. The kids on stage did a fine job. However, the evening started off badly.
Just before The Pit was due to file in, the sound board blew. After 45 minutes of updates on repairs, thanks for being patient, and luck that a former school board member owns his own electrical business (and perhaps that another school nearby had a subsitute board), the play finally got going. Even tho' there was a hasty microphone check, it took the guys in the back awhile to get all of them settled. The sound quality wasn't so hot as speakers cracked and volume went up and down, and there were lines that were heard at all. Poor kids. But they were troupers, after all, and it sure was a lesson in the show must go on!
During the intermission, a local citizen was honored.
You see, G.P. has offered the school district $15 Million dollars. The money is needed - we've got real issues on aging buildings and a student population that is vastly different than it used to be.
(At one time there were four elementary neighborhood schools and almost everyone could walk to one, and one high school building. Because of the decline in student numbers, Lincoln was no longer used, and eventually torn down for the new public library. Eisenhower holds only the kindergarten, leaving a building mostly empty. Schaeffer has the first and second grade, Hoover has grades 3-5, and now the high school building is 6-12th grades. )ANY
The problem with G.P.'s offer is that it stipulates that it be used to enhance performing arts programs at Eisenhower.
That money sure would go a long way to create more efficient classroom configurations and building updates.
Don't get me wrong ~ I certainly believe that the arts play a very important part in a child's developement. Art and music should always be available and encouraged.
But our town DOES support and encourage the arts. In a school district of 1100 kids, we have about 300 in the bands (elementary thru HS) and over 200 in the different levels of choruses. Our school district has been in the "Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America
" for the last three years.
So, here was an 80+ widow, whose husband made a ton of money because he was one of AMP's first employees (AMP was purchased by Tyco and "assimilated"), tangling $15M in front of us. One school board member had told me that it wasn't a done deal, but every school board member and school district employee in the building was literally at her feet last night. (well, that's not fair. She is
frail and getting up and around isn't easy.)
Needless to say, the play director (who is also an elementary school teacher here) was teased about planning the sound board failure.
I'm torn about all that money. It sure would be neat to have Eisenhower turned into a theater (that was another stipulation - she wants that building saved. Her kids apparently went there.) with modern equipment and so forth.
But I also see all the other things that need to be done. As one board member was quoted in the local paper, "We are still looking at the same needs."
You might ask why G.P. is so fond of the Arts? It's because she danced in Broadway musicals in the 1930s and 1940s and later worked as a model, appearing on the covers of magazines such as Vogue and Good Housekeeping.
This photo is of The Pit playing after the performance is done, as the audience departs. Goa'uld is playing the trombone, and Bookworm is the trumpet player behind Goa'uld's music stand.
Throughout the performance, I wondered if the trumpet player in front of Goa'uld (and slightly to the left) was bothered by the trombone slide going back and forth just beside her like that.
Afterwards, the Crew, the Cast and The Pit went to a party at the home of one of the actors. Until 1 AM. Lucky me got to be the driver - but Nod gets to be the driver tonight (yes, two performances, two parties).
And finally, be sure to visit Doug
today. You might recognize the characters of this weekend's story