Monday, March 09, 2015

Extravaganza!

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a phone message from Brenda asking if I would like to go to a concert. Does spring follow winter? I mean really! "Yes!!!" I said.

Not only a concert, but a "Musical Extravaganza," by the music department of St. Andrew's College, her beloved SAC, where she works with "her boys." The concert was at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing ArtsI could hardly wait. 

Last Wednesday night I drove to Aurora to meet Brenda for supper in the college dining hall, where, with the kind permission of the head of the kitchen staff, we enjoyed a meal of succulent sliced pork loin in apple sauce with the faintest hint of cloves, followed by profiteroles with strawberry sauce. We could not have had a more delicious meal in the best restaurant in town.

The hall was filled with teachers who live on campus and their families, students, and custodial staff, many of whom came by to say a warm "Hi!" to "Brenda's mom." It felt like a big family gathering; a community of friends. 

Yellow school buses were lined up outside the main doors, ready to set out for Richmond Hill. Inside, excitement hung in the air--an atmosphere fueled by anticipation and nervous energy.


Of course I had my camera with me, but sadly, once we were seated, an usher told us that photos and videos were not allowed. These were some photos I took of the amazing art in the foyer on the way in.






The Director of Music, Sandi Chasson, deserves a standing ovation for the amazing music that we were privileged to experience that night. Garry Page; a stellar musician in his own right, also Director of Bands and an amusing Master of Ceremonies; kept the audience engaged and laughing as he hosted the evening.

John Richardson, Director of Bands conducted the Middle School boys with excellence; the bond between him and the boys was so evident, and the music was flawless, at least to this appreciative audience member's ear!

The pipes and drums thrilled us, calling to heart and soul with their beautiful harmonies and ancient rhythms; the jazz bands made our feet tap and itch to dance and solo improvisations captured us with their bravery and spontaneous creativity. The percussion and small pipe ensembles--each band blew me away with their professionalism, the result of obvious hard work and practice. 

And the Platinum Band, which ended the evening? "Among the best in high school musicians" said the program, describing their recent triple-gold win at the MusicFest Regionals, and that nails it. They were smooth as a bar of Cadbury's chocolate, and seemingly effortless in their musicianship. A truly triumphant ending to an evening for which applause seemed hardly enough to express our enjoyment and which had begun with an invitation, "Do you want to go to a concert?" So glad I said, "Yes!"