Friday, July 25, 2008

Stamps-Baxter - Callback Night

This afternoon, I filled in for Teri Reid to teach her afternoon theory class. As tradition stands, the Stamps-Baxter Kids will open tomorrow's Closing Program, so rehearsal was at the top of the schedule. We practiced "Heaven's Jubilee" acapella to learn the words, and then practiced walking on and off the stage in the auditorium. By the afternoon, the kids are always a little fidgety, so my plan was to keep them moving. We all moved outside, and the weather was stunning. To encourage good listening, we lined up in pairs and practiced the song as we walked along the pathways on campus. Occasionally, the group would spread out and we'd need to clump back together, but overall, it worked really well. The singing was good, and we all ended up at the fountain just in time for a little break.

After the break, we started writing a song about our favourite Stamps-Baxter things. Unfortunately, I don't know that I'll get back in the class to help finish the song, but we had a good start. We practiced writing lists and finding the special and funny things about school to put in our song. After class, I compiled some of the items into a rough chorus and a few verses, so we'll see if they're able to work on it tomorrow.

Tonight was Callbacks for the Closing Program. Twenty-three people were chosen from the two nights of acapella auditions, and tonight each soloist or group had to perform their full song as they would in tomorrow's show. Allison Durham Speer asked me to be one of the judges, so the pressure was on. Since I knew everyone auditioning, I felt very invested in everyone's performance and just wanted them all to be fantastic. The Closing Program is a big deal. Not only will the auditorium be completely packed, but every performance will be videotaped and included on a DVD that will travel worldwide via students and You Tube. Having been in the Closing Program myself, I felt the pressure to only choose the best talents, the performers who will stand up to pressure of the performance, and the people who will best represent the school. Luckily, there was a small committee of judges, so the responsibility fell on several shoulders. There were a few missed words, but overall, it was great to see everyone step up their game and present their best. The auditions ran about two hours, and then we deliberated for about thirty minutes before making all the decisions.

It's going to be a great show. I can't believe we've reached this point so quickly! Each year, the time goes too quickly, but this year seems to have gone faster than ever. I've met some amazing people, and some incredible families. And at least I know that, in my position in the office, I'll be able to keep in touch with everyone after this week.

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