Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Music Man

Last year, Owen asked to start taking cello lessons. I was a little put off at the time, since after years of good intentions I had finally managed to arrange piano lessons for both kids and thought I should at least get a victory lap before we moved onto the string family.

But Owen persisted and in the Spring, we successfully bid at the Cluster's Auction on group lessons for the DC Youth Orchestra Program. Come Fall, outfitted with a 1/4 size cello, Owen started Beginning Cello Level A.

I should note that while Owen's paternal great-grandmother was an accomplished cellist (she played with the Cedar Rapids Symphony) and Grandma Z played violin back in the day, Owen's string pedigree does not include Allen and I, so Owen was kind of on his own at home (I have some piano, sax and a lot of oboe; Allen has a bit of piano, a little trumpet and some guitar. But cello? Not so much). After a month or so, Owen's instructor suggested we supplement the group lessons with some individual instruction, so Owen started also taking lessons from his music teacher at SWS, Mr. James.

All of this was building up to Saturday night's recital, in which about 200 beginning students played Jingle Bells, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and a host of other tunes. While our clear favorite was Hot Cross Buns by the Level A cellist, there were some other standouts -- some extremely talented harpist and a lone baritone that nailed the Star Spangled Banner -- with only a few painful moments, (I really wanted to give all the beginning oboes a hug after their rendition of Lightly Row -- it gets better!).

All in all, it was really exciting and endearing to see so many young people at the start of their musical education. And it was all worth it for the smile Owen donned after his performance when he found his cheering section (Grandpa Fawcett, Katherine & Lee, Mom Mom & Grandpa Don, and Allen, Nora and I).


(To see Owen's class performance, please click here)

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