Thursday, April 9, 2009

All-City Orchestra

The Newport News All-City Orchestra was a few weekends ago, and our students did a great job representing the school and themselves!  It made for a very long weekend for me (and for Marshall who had Mdx the whole time), but it was a great experience for the kids to get to play harder music and have the pressure of other students from other schools around them.  I hope the 9 students from my school will help convince more of our students to work hard and hopefully make it next year.

The schedule was pretty grueling:  We left our school at 9:30AM on Friday.  The students rehearsed from 10:30-12:00, and from 1:00-4:00pm, then rode the bus home.  We came back again on Saturday for morning rehearsals, then a quick lunch and changed into concert dress.  Then the concert was at 2pm on Saturday.  I taught sectionals and otherwise generally helped out when necessary during rehearsals.

The Middle School group rehearsing onstage at Warwick HS.
The High School group, in the band room...which smelled exactly like our HS band room.
At lunch, with a few of the other Directors, we were giving out the T-shirts.
Some of my Middle School girls.   :)  I'm so proud of them!  They are already talking about next year when they make it to the All-City Orchestra again!

Here is a great video that I took of the HS group:

I still don't know yet if my contract will be renewed for next school year.  I am apprehensive just because I know that there are big budget cuts in the works, some of which involve getting rid of programs that don't have large numbers.  The only thing that I can use to plead my case is that I am at such a special school, and we are a growing program.  These kids need the chance during their day to get away from the rigor of academics, and for some of them -to be totally honest- my class is the only thing they've ever been good at in their entire life.  At times I get so frustrated when I think of all the hard work I've done, all the attitudes I've changed, all the trust I've earned, all the kids who have learned to read music, all the nails I have trimmed (HA!), all the kids who want to join the Orchestra next year, but may not get the chance...and FOR WHAT?  What was all that hard work for if I just end up getting the axe after one measly year at the school?  I've been honest with the students and let them know that I WANT to be with them next year, but it is out of my hands.  My Administrators have told me that they are really happy with what I've done this year, and that they want me now I just wait to hear from NNPS about their decision.  I hate not knowing!!


Em said...

Great post! I think it's appalling that the arts are being taken out of public schools - these programs are what make school tolerable for many kids. They can find something they're interested in, and follow their heart!

Carla said...

You are so passionate about your work and your students, unfortunately, not a quality a lot of teachers possess. There is no doubt in my mind that YOU are the reason your students have worked so hard and come so far in your classes this year. You are an inspiration to me! I am so very proud to have you as a member of our family.

Stella said...

Wow, Emily! I just discovered your blog (through faceboook, of course) and I am so impressed!