Wednesday, December 22, 2010

That's Ethan On the Cymbals!

We attended our third Christmas band concert the week before last, and it was the best one yet. It's amazing to see how the kids have progressed--and how they've grown. Just look at Ethan, who has morphed into a young man while I wasn't looking.

Here he is with his dad after the concert:

and with Grandma, his biggest fan other than Allyson:

Ethan plays percussion in the honors band, and he's quite talented. But he wasn't too enthused about this concert, where he'd be playing "only the bells and the wood block."

He didn't mention that he'd be starting out the first song with a solo on the bells, or that he'd end the second song with two triumphant clashes on the cymbals. I listened breathlessly, almost biting my nails. Would he make a mistake? Was he as nervous as I was?

I needn't have worried; he was cool as a cucumber.

Here are a few snippets. On the first clip, part of "Snow Day Celebration," listen for the tinkly bells at the very beginning (punctuated by a baby's shrill scream). On the second clip, from "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch," watch his precision on the syncopated rhythms of the wood block. And then listen for Allyson's proud realization that her brother was playing the cymbals. Her "Woo-hoo, Ethan!" was even louder than mine.

All the way home, Allyson gushed about how much she loved the Mr. Grinch song, and how the cymbals were the best part. "I'm gonna play the cymbals when I grow up," she said. "And then I can bang them next to Ethan's ears and wake him up in the morning." (Not a bad idea, by the way.)

He pretended to shrug off her praise, but I could see his grin in the rear view mirror. When we got home, he surprised me by asking to watch the video of Allyson's Christmas dance recital (video forthcoming, I promise), which he had missed because he was at his dad's. His praise was just as glowing as Allyson's had been, and soon my heart was glowing as well. Though it's hard to tell sometimes, they really do love each other!

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