Shock, horror!

Actually, it’s more like shock, joy! I actually passed my oral exam!!! And not only that, I actually got a good mark – 92%!!!!!! I’m still convinced they must have made a mistake (or marked very generously), because I know how badly I performed in the test, but I’m definitely not going to complain!

And in other shocking news, the concert last night (the Schools Music Festival) was actually pretty good! I wasn’t expecting much of it, having had too much experience of children performing, but apart from the predictable horror of the recorder section (at least they had a range of different sizes of recorders instead of just the screechy ones that seem to be standard issue in primary school music lessons (sorry, I’m not musical enough to know what the different sized ones are called), which did add a little bit of depth to the music, but in the end, recorders are just screechy horrible instruments… although one of the three pieces they played sounded medieval (I didn’t get a programme, so I’m not sure what it was), and didn’t sound too bad (probably because that’s the kind of music they were actually designed to play!), but the others were just horrible)…(there will now be a slight pause while FutureCat tries to extricate herself from the mass of parentheses she’s got into, and tries to recover the main sentence…), the music was very good. There was a massed choir from about 20 primary and intermediate schools (ages approx. 8-12), which must have had nearly a thousand kids in it, and was incredibly well co-ordinated for such a large choir. There was the obligatory recorder bit (I’ve never understood why schools insist on children learning to play such a horrible screechy instrument – no wonder so few children enjoy school music lessons!), and then there were two smaller choirs (smaller as in about a hundred in each!) who were obviously the best singers (Meerkitten was in the junior choir, and awhina was doing the very proud mum act all night – and rightly so), who sang some lovely songs (some of them very amusingly choreographed too!). There was also a small orchestra (I think awhina (who knows about such things) said it was a concert orchestra – they didn’t have a string section, anyway) that played with the massed choir for a few songs. And then, after a short interval, they brought on a full orchestra, which was amazingly good – remember, these are 8-12 year olds, but if you closed your eyes you would have thought you were listening to a professional orchestra. Among the pieces they played was something from La Traviata, which the massed choir joined in on, and the effect was incredible! Probably helped that we were in the Town Hall, which has pretty fantastic acoustics, but I think it was mostly that the orchestra and choir were very good. Oh, and they also played a piece written by one of the orchestra members… who is in Form 1 (i.e. about 11 years old!!!). Don’t you hate talented people? Anyway, a very enjoyable evening, against all my expectations.

Oh, and of course I had to release a book in the Town Hall – I would have brought some children’s books to release if I’d thought about it, but I did at least have a suitable themed release (which will hopefully have been picked up by one of the teachers or parents): The Actresses by Barbara Ewing.

Currently reading: Cuentos en español, and The Winner’s Enclosure by Anne Caulfield

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