I spent the first few hours of my morning watching the Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band from my daughter's high school play in the annual contest, shooting for a superior rating. They missed it by a fraction and I know they were disappointed -- I was in choir back in the olden days and we went to contest, too.
Perhaps I am taking more from the morning than was there because I so rarely get to see M's band concerts. That said, I suspect that they were so busy playing* that they didn't see what I got to see: kids of all shapes and sizes and talents pulling together as a team. Disciplined, focused and organized, everyone contributing. Just like any of the athletic teams that tend to get much more attention. No, I'm not going to rip on athletics -- I think sports are a terrific outlet -- but I do think that the music programs maybe don't get as many accolades as they should, even though they teach many of the same character qualities that sports usually gets credit for doing. And, consider this: how many musicians have to quit because they blew out a knee or wrecked a shoulder? Or compressed some vertebrae?
I couldn't help but notice, too, that the director had the kids' attention nearly instantly after getting on his platform and raising his baton. Suppose if I stood on the coffee table and raised a knitting needle, I could get my kids to pay attention?
*Today's pieces were pretty cool: "Sketches on a Tudor Psalm" and "Majestia"