Monday, December 23, 2013

December 17th, 2013-- Journaling

Rebecca's Diary
December 17th, 2013
"Ring Christmas bells,
Merrily ring,
Tell all the world,
Jesus is King,
Loudly proclaim,
With one accord,
The happy tale,
Welcome the Lord--"

That was my favorite Christmas carol until six hours ago.

Today was the School's Christmas concert.

I couldn't make it to band this morning (all they were going to be doing this morning was setting up the stage and decorating instruments to make them look Christmas-y), so I decorated my flute at home. Here's some pictures of what it looked like:

Flute Decorating: The Body
 The body of my flute was probably the hardest part. I had to be really careful not to wrap the ribbon too tightly, or touch the keys. If either of these had happened, the sound wouldn't have come out properly when I played today. It took about ten tries (full of snipping and re-taping so the ribbon wouldn't cross the keys), but I finally got it! What do you think?

Flute Decorating: The Mouthpiece (or Head Joint)
This part was a piece of cake-- since it's eight days to Christmas I'll say a piece of fruitcake! :P All I did was use clear Scotch tape to discreetly fasten one end of the red ribbon near the cork, and then wrapped the shiny crimson ribbon really tightly and taped the other end. I then did the same thing with the green ribbon, only I wrapped a lot more loosely to give it a swirled look. Then I hid one end of the tape under two bows with colors that matched my ribbon (also attached with tape).
Like I said, piece of fruitcake! Of course, I had to test it to be sure all the notes came out clearly. It worked!
Anyways, I got a ton of compliments at the concert, which made me very happy. 😄

Now what was it I was going to tell you? . . . oh, yes. The concert. Well, erm. . . .

I had a hard time getting to the school in the first place. There was a foot of snow on the ground (has been for quite some time) and it was snowing furiously. On the way into the building, my nose just about froze as I waited for someone to let me in.

We waited for what seemed like a large hunk of eternity while the other acts went on. It was your typical elementary school concert. First was the chorus, which sounded a bit deadbeat since there were only ten of them and one microphone was all they had in the way of a sound system. But the songs were pretty good. Then was the pre-k through third choir, which was adorable. Then the recorders. (I have never been overly fond of the screechiness of recorders, nor has anyone else I know.) Then the Beginning Band. And... finally... the Advanced Band.

Getting up there on the stage felt natural after doing so so many times before. I remembered the butterflies in my stomach that had almost lifted me off my feet the first time I had been in a one of the school's Christmas concerts, when I had sung in the kindergarten-through-third "choir." That was nine years ago, I thought, swallowing hard. Where has all that time gone?

Well, there wasn't time to ponder it now. The show must go on.
 And it did. We played Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, Deck the Halls, Up on the Housetop, and lastly, as the Christmas Concert's grand finale, Carol of the Bells.
"Try to go slow," whispered Tiffini.
"You can't go too fast," whispered Brooke. (Tiffini and Brooke are friends of mine and fellow flutists.)
"This speed," said Mrs. Liga, snapping her fingers to the beat she wanted us to play to.
"Okay, I get it! But no promises." I whispered sharply. And I started playing the notes.
This is my last Christmas concert, I thought, I've got to give it everything. I imagined the words in my mind as I played the notes that accompanied them, adding slurs and dynamics where I thought them appropriate. Forget the sheet music, I thought, I don't need it!
That was my mistake.
When the music was at its strongest, the instrument groups began dropping out one by one, as was planned. Three measures later, it was just me and the two other flutes. I got so caught up in trying to "embroider" the melody with different techniques that I forgot where to stop!  While I heard the rest of the band hit the final wavering note, my fingers were still moving. Brooke, Tiffini, and I were still playing "Ring Christmas bells, merrily ring--" We stopped abruptly, looking at each other baffled. What were we to do? We'd just messed up horribly in front of our entire school.
Then we just burst out laughing in hysteria.
The audience was looking at us like we had suddenly transformed into Martians. Why were the woodwinds laughing their heads off?
I didn't know what to do-- I just kept laughing. But I realized if I kept laughing, it would soon turn to tears. So I gave high-fives to my fellow flutes. "That was awesome!" I giggled. "We messed up with style!" At least we still have tonight, I thought. We could make it up.
But the evening concert was canceled due to snow, which made a lot of us very angry because by seven o'clock the roads were completely clear and the weather was beautiful.
And now every time I hear Carol of the Bells on the radio, I feel my ears turn ever-so-slightly red as I remember how we-- I-- messed up.
But, hey-- at least everyone will remember that last Christmas Concert.

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Rebecca :)