The rest of last week was spent preparing for the epic series of concerts in Boston on Saturday. We got to have some fun in between, though.
At 10:00 on Tuesday morning, the Maestro performed for our preschool choir, the Sunshine Singers. They were riveted by his violin playing! We jammed with him for a while, and he taught Courtney some new pieces. Then, we went for a beautiful picnic on Pontoosuc Lake:
|Our guest got to see perfect Berkshire weather…|
That night, we all enjoyed a dinner at the house of our wonderful friends Jerry and Helga Bilik. It resulted in an invigorating discussion about all the arts, social justice, and Jerry’s potato salad.
After lots of rehearsal and a casual concert on Friday, we were ready to hit the streets of Boston. When we got there, it was sunny and hot. We found Berkeley Street right away; as soon as we stepped into the Benjamin Franklin Institute, we were swept away the the excitement of hundreds of children, most of them with instruments in hand, walking back and forth.
The first concert was a resounding triumph. Kids 4 Harmony gave just one of eight fantastic mini-concerts.
|Performing Eine Kleine Nachtmusik|
The magic happened when all 200+ performers played together, under the direction of a Venezuelan master teacher. The huge orchestra, comprised of people ages 5 to 18, got a giant encore.
The second concert featured the Boston Youth Philharmonic Orchestra along with the Conservatory Lab Charter School’s Dudamel Orchestra, that program’s highest level.
|The Boston Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Ben Zander|
Five of our group played with this orchestra, along with several other El Sistema programs. It was heartwarming to see our kids, tiny next to their teenage peers, rushing to figure out a last-minute piece during the warm-up. They were all able to figure out a good portion of Lord of the Rings, never having played it before that day. They also played symphonies by Mahler (No. 3) and Brahms (No. 1), and ended with a glorious rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from his ninth symphony.
After all this excitement, we were worn out. We left for Boston at 10:00; we got home by 11. It was a full day of excitement, fun and learning.
|Johan playing with the BPYO|
|Sarah learning Lord of the Rings from her stand partner, during warm-ups|
|Leila playing with the BPYO|