Sunday, August 16, 2009

Children's March

For the past several days I have been transferring old VHS tapes to DVD. All these VHS tapes are, of course, of my daughter at various ages.

Last night I was making a DVD of one of her All State Music Festival performances. Forgive me for bragging, but my daughter was in the Iowa High School All State Band for two years and the All State Orchestra one year. Her three years as an All Stater were, well, pretty special for me. That is an understatement.

As I watched her play the clarinet during her high school and college career, well, as my old band teacher would have said "the buttons popped off my shirt." She was accomplished in many things, but I was most pleased with her music accomplishments. Once upon a time years ago I played the trumpet. To see your own child have success in something that meant a lot to you at the same age is, well, really special.

Only a tiny percentage of all Iowa high school musicans get into the All State Festival. It is extremely competive. I remember sitting on a Saturday afternoon waiting for the results. Though I am not religious, I would even resort to saying a prayer or several!

Each time my daughter tried out, she got selected. Her picture now hangs on the wall at her high school - though I never did feel enough was done for her given the extent of her accomplishment. If she had been a three time state wrestling champion (Iowa is big in wrestling) or a track star, well ... But I am glad she was an All State musican. To me, that meant everything.

One of my favorite selections was when she was in the All State Band as a high school sophmore and the group played The Children's March. This upbeat piece was written by Percy Grainger in 1916. Though originally written for duo pianos, it has become most well known as a wind instrument piece -- and, of course, the clarinet is a wind instrument.

Here's The Children's March.


Jo said...

That must have been very special for you, hearing your daughter play that. You must have been very proud of her.

When I listen to it, I can visualize children marching up and down a grassy hill, little girls with their hair flying in the wind, and little boys with their bony knees marching. The person who wrote it really knew children well.

I hope your daughter keeps up her musical talents. That's a really special ability to have, and a gift.

larkspur said...

This clip is great! Our children's accomplishments, whether it is that first step, or something as prized as being chosen for the Iowa All State Festival, are always a source of a parent's pride. It is nice to have old VHS tapes (and now DVD) of these moments.

Thanks for sharing your "proud papa" moments with us.

larkspur said...

Russell, as I was leaving a response to your comment on my post about tarot cards/horoscopes, I thought of a program that used to run on NPR in the early 80's. Ken Nordine did an episode about his 'little girl' in the marching band out on the football field. It was hilarious.

willow said...

Hey, Russell, welcome back to the bloggyhood. I didn't realize you were posting again. Hope you're summer's been enjoyable.

We have so many home movies on VHS and even some on the old BETA tapes, that need to be transferred to DVD. It's going to be a monumental task.

Dr.John said...

Parental pride is a good thing. Looking back with pride is a great thing. Glad your daughter was that good.

dyana said...

Good post.....

thanks for sharin with us......


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Small City Scenes said...

Proud Papa, and you have a right to be. Thanks for sharing.
I worked at an elementary school for 18 years and I was always amazed at how the music teacher (the same one all those years) could teach those children to sound so good in such a short time. By 6th grade they sounded like high school students--She had a true gift. MB

Hilary said...

Welcome back, Russel. I've missed your wonderful posts. I'm in catch up mode myself right now.

I can sure feel the pride you feel for your daughter and her talents. You have every reason to feel that way and I'm glad you have the videos to enjoy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

Mean Mama said...

Hi Russell,

I love watching my older kids play piano. Thanks for sharing this. Watching your kids learn something and excel is the best feeling in the world. Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you will be back!

Dad Stuff said...

Music is so important to my life and we are trying to make it as important to our children. Music makes people smarter, more successful and if you can play an instrument or sing, you always have music with you.

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