My daughter and I went to see the Phoenix Boys' Choir last night. (Click on the link for photos and music snippets). She had two free tickets from her teacher (who is on the board for the Choir) and a promise of extra credit in her class if she would go. So, we went.
They were amazingly good!
They had basically three groups, identified by the different ties and suit jackets (or, for the second half, the choir robes) they wore. The oldest group (late teens up to one fellow who looked to be about 40) wore tuxes. The middle group (pre-teens and teens, it looked like) wore red and yellow striped ties. The youngest group (ages 6 - 10, I believe they said) wore blue striped ties.
I was amazed by the following:
* All of the youngest and middle groups stood on the choir stands and sang from memory, for approximately two hours worth of music. They did not have music in front of them. I cannot imagine my kids at age 6 -10 standing still for two hours, much less remembering all of the words and notes for two hours worth of music. Heck, I can still barely get my 9 year old son to remember the words to "Frosty the Snowman" for his cub scouts' annual Christmas Caroling on Sesame Street venture.
* I didn't quite understand why the oldest ones got to hold the music in front of them. Seems like if those younger kids could memorize everything, so could they! On the other hand, they had to hold those heavy choir books out in front of them for such a long time. I can see why the younger kids wouldn't want to have to hold them the whole time.
* They seemed to hit every note perfectly, and held them for such long periods of time.
* They had such genuine enthusiasm for the music, and their personalities really stood out. One small child in particular really caught my eye. He was adorable. He was the smallest one, and stood in the front row. He had brown hair in a bowl shaped cut, short, and such expressive eyes, and his ears stuck out a bit which made him look soooo adorable. He sang with such expression and passion. And he was soooo adorable! If I were his mom, that kid would be so spoiled because I could never say no to that cute face! The taller kid, next to him, had a voice like an angel. You could really hear each note he projected, not that it was louder or different than the others, but he just had such power to his voice. Amazing and beautiful. Another, slightly older kid in the third row, right side, also had an obvious passion for the music... so earnest! A fourth kid, a teenager, in the second row, far left (for me), looked like a young Beatle -- a cross between Paul McCartney and George Harrison, with that Beatle haircut and dark brown eyes. Even had some of the same mannerisms as Paul. Very cool! It was neat that their individual personalities showed through, even as they all wore the same suits and ties and looked so "uniform."
All in all, it was a great show. I am glad we went, even though it came at the end of what seemed like an impossibly long and stressful week (which shouldn't have seemed so long and stressful because it was only a four day week after the holiday on Monday, but it did). We didn't want to leave the house to go, but both of us ended up being glad we went.
So, if you ever have a chance to see the Phoenix Boys' Choir, you should definitely take that opportunity!
A little comic relief:
As the chamber orchestra was getting ready to play before the second act, they did the usual orchestra note coordination where, after they've all tuned up they all play the same note and each instrument joins in to make sure everyone is tuned up properly (at least that's what I've always assumed they are doing; I've never been in an orchestra so I could be totally wrong...)
Legal Mist's Daughter: Oh! I know this song!
Me (thinking she is kidding, and thus playing along): Me, too. I've heard it a few times before! (Big smile).
Legal Mist's Daughter, a minute or so later, realizing they are just tuning their instruments and not actually playing anything...: Oh, no.... that's not actually a song, is it? (covers face with hands)
Me: You mean you weren't just kidding?!?
And then we both had to stifle our laughter because by then the program was actually starting...