Tuesday, March 24, 2009

eight days a week

Wow! Last week was a blur! But, it was great because that mad dash of concerts and music stuff led me straight into SPRING BREAK! Wahoo! Stephen is taking off the rest of the week (starting tomorrow) and we're going on a beach campout trip. We are staying at campsites on or near the beach in FL, GA and SC. Hopefully we'll make a few day trips into Savannah and Charleston as well. I'm sure there will be lots of photos to come! But first...

Last Thursday was my Spring Musical Program with 4th, 5th and 6th grades at school. They performed a show that I wrote and arranged about the birth of Rock and Roll music in the 1950's. They did a really great job singing, as well as playing guitar, recorder, and Orff instruments (like xylophones), dancing, and speaking in between the songs about American and Music history at that time. My co-teacher and I dressed up for the day- it was a lot of fun!

Here is a picture of the performance. It's a bit grainy, but the lighting in our hall is kinda dim, so it's the best you get. You can see me sitting in the chair conducting, and some of the sixth graders are doing the Jitterbug out in front. I wish I had a video clip or something because this picture doesn't do it justice! The songs included in our show were Rock Around the Clock, Hound Dog, Blue Suede Shoes, At the Hop, Yakity Yak, Rockin' Robin, and Willie and the Hand Jive!

Also this week, Steve got a hair cut. It looks like he was kidnapped by a army recruiter. Ha!

And lastly, Saturday night we had our first Jacksonville Children's Chorus concert of the Spring season. It was a bluegrass-themed concert with special guest, Grammy-award winning musician, David Holt. The evening was a blast, and many of our kids got to experience just how fun folk music can be. (Seriously, go here to check out an AMAZING clip of something he also performed at our concert). Anyways, I WISH I had some photos of our concert, my training choir kids did a GREAT job... maybe some will turn up after the commotion of this week dies down.

Anyways, 'til next time! Off to the BEACH!

Monday, March 16, 2009

harder to breathe

Haha. That song title is funny! So, Stephen and I ran the 2009 Gate River Run this weekend. It was actually a lot of fun, even though the weather was so foggy and dreary all morning. The River Run is a 15,000 meter race (9.3 miles) through downtown Jacksonville and over 2 bridges that cross the St. Johns River. It is a major event for our city, and part of what makes it so fun is that we ran with nearly 20,000 of our closest friends. Okay, so we only saw a few people that we knew, but everyone is very friendly and congenial during the race. Seriously! All along the race route are tons of people cheering you on and even some local bands playing you on! It was around mile 4 that we passed a band playing Harder to Breathe by Maroon 5. It's funny because the chorus of the song ends with "Is there anyone out there? 'Cause it's getting harder and harder to breathe." It was very appropriate at that moment! Anyways, we enjoyed ourselves and accomplished our goal of running the whole thing. Stephen ran with me for the first 5 miles, and then sped on ahead (which was fine by me!!!) to finish in about 1 hour and 32 minutes. I came in at 1 hour and 41 minutes, which was no record or anything, but I was glad I ran the whole thing and enjoyed it! Hooray!

Check out the horrible-looking sky behind us! This was before the race, but it looked pretty much the same the whole time. Oh well.

Then, later that afternoon, I went to a bridal shower for a friend from church, Rachael (in the middle). It was a lot of fun and so many people came! Here is our lovely group of ladies from church: Me, Ashley, Erin, Carrie, Julie, and of course Rachael.

Well, this week I have my big Spring music program at school on Thursday, and then a Jacksonville Children's Chorus Concert on Saturday night. It's going to be a busy week but I don't care because after this week is SPRING BREAK!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It might as well be Spring

Man, I can't believe I missed February all together! Whew! It was a short month, but long on music and things going on. First up, the Opera. Like last year, I was in the chorus for the Jacksonville Symphony's big Opera production... this year it was Turandot. It was a lot of fun and the leads were very talented and fun to work with.

The Opera tells the story of a brutal Chinese Princess (Turandot) who takes her issues and anger over past wrongs against her family out on every guy she comes across (via Beheading). I was a handmaiden. Fun times!

Um, what do you mean I'm not Asian?

Then, the day after the Opera, Stephen and I went down to Gainesville to see the African Children's Choir Musical, Journey of Hope. I had heard a lot about it, but not seen it yet, so it was a nice treat to go and reminisce about my time with the choir. Ah, memories.
For more information, or to see when a choir might be in your area, go to:

Also, I got to visit with my Irish/Scottish friend and former co-worker, Kyle. (In case you are wondering about that- his family is Irish, but now lives in Scotland.) Kyle came on tour while I was there and is STILL working for the organization as a sound... um, guy? technician? engineer? Well, yeah he runs the sound. Anyways, it was super good to catch up and hear how he's been doing the last few years.

The following weekend was Valentine's Day. I had a concert in Orlando with the Festival Singers of Florida, so that pretty much took up all the time for V-day niceness with Stevie. Here's a link to a video of our concert- it was a lot of work, but a lot of fun!


However, I have to say that Valentine's wasn't completely about singing with no niceness. Stephen gave me this very nice present in the morning before I went to rehearse. Isn't he sweet?

Speaking of presents, I received this from a very nice 4th grade boy. It was his birthday and he was giving out cookies at school. ARMADILLO cookies. Awesome. I never did eat it because it was just too cute.

It looks like Steve is a member of El mariachi de Richard Simmons. Ha!

Bella's doing well- perfecting her Sphinx pose.

And right before February ended, I got to sing Jazz for a gig at the Cummer Art Museum in Jacksonville with some friends. We've been slowly getting things rolling as a band, and hopefully will get booked for some more things soon- I need the money! Yes, we got paid- woo hoo professionale!

Okay, well that's about it for February. Hopefully I can post again in March with actual MARCH stuff. Spring Break is coming- so hooray for that!