Monday, August 4, 2008

Buzy Bee...

This weekend was full again...

Saturday the quartet had a gig in Rochester Hills to sing at a benefit concert for Amy Jamison, the daughter of a fellow barbershopper from the Guardians of Harmony (Macomb Co. Chapter). Amy has been hit with some pretty severe medical problems just as her father was laid off, so medical expenses were catching up with them. It was a great concert, though not hugely well attended. Since it was a free concert, hopefully they managed to pull in some decent donations.

It was a great mix of quartets and choruses. 6 quartets (including us) and 2 choruses (Pontiac-Waterford "Big Chief" chorus & Macomb). InVoice (SAI district 12 champs) finished out the show with a PHOENOMENAL set, doing some old favorites ("South Rampart Street Parade") and some new ones ("When I Fall In Love" with an AWESOME tag). We did well, starting with "When You Wish Upon a Star", a chorus song we've adopted. It has a tricky key change, but we handle it well. From there we went onto my arrangement of "Rainbow Connection" and ended with "Darkness on the Delta". Our strongest songs. We apparently recieved several compliments on "Wish Upon A Star" and suggestions that we take it to contest. We have our October prelims set pretty much decided, but you never know if we'll need a Saturday night set! Next Sunday we're singing at our bass's church, doing a few more religious tunes we've added just for the occasion.

Sunday, we gathered Liam up for his week at summer camp. He's been gone to the cottage with his grandparents for almost 2 weeks, and I already hardly recognize him. He came back for a couple days in between all tanned, sun bleached hair, and I swear 3 inches taller. Where the hell does the time go?! Most of the morning was spent frantically gathering everything for the week...last minute, of course. Trips to the store for odd-and-ends, doing laundry to ensure enough changes of clothes, hunting for sunscreen, choosing his comics for "quiet time", etc. We left about 1/2 hour later than planned, but figured we'd make it on time - until we hit Detroit.

The camp is just west of Saline, so we figured we'd take I-94. BAAAAAD idea! Every major freeway running through Detroit is either closed or reduced to 1 lane, so every major artery through Detroit was basically gridlocked. We ran around in circles on the surface streets of Detroit for an hour, trying to figure out how to get back on the freeway past the construction. Finally we headed through Corktown and caught north I-96. We at the camp about 1/2 late.
Liam was a bit upset he couldn't take his Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robot ring with him, but he managed to relent without much of a scene. No crying or worries about being away from family for the first time, no tearful goodbyes as he passes another milestone on the way to growing up. Just a stupid plastic toy. I'm proud he's not affraid to be away from family, confused why the ring was such a big deal, and a bit dissapointed at the same time that he didn't seem he'd miss us more...but mostly proud.
On the way there, we passed a HUGE field of sunflowers. It was absolutely spectacular. The kids were asleep in the backseat in the way up, but we made sure to stop and snap some pics on the way back home. Unfortunately, all I had on me was my cell phone, so they're not the best quality, but they turned out okay. You can check them out on my Flickr Page. Sonya's going to get a few pics with Liam when she picks him up on Friday.
Today, it's back to work. Tonight, though, I head with Val and her boyfriend to Toledo to see my first live drum corps show in probably 7 years. I'm kind of surprised how excited I am about it. I spent about an hour yesterday planning and gathering my wardrobe. After spelunking the dark recesses of my shed and attic through boxes like an archaeologist exploring the tombs of the Pharohs, I found my tattered corps jacket, a 1993 Velvet Knights t-shirt, and then prepped my mandatory Red Chucks. I just filled my MP3 player with a few choice selections for the drive down as well. Lots of late-80's & early 90's stuff. Ya know, the GOOD years (open for debate).
I've ranted here about my disilusionment with DCI a lot - and it still holds true. However, there's something to be said for the experience of going to a live show - the fans, the electricity in the air, and 60+ horns blowing your hair back with a huge final chord. Plus, seeing as local shows are such a rarity these days, I'm bound to see a ton of folks I probably haven't seen in decades (which is why I need the corps jacket and chucks - to be recognized). :)
So, while I'm a bit dissapointed in myself for bending my principles about supporting DCI in any fashion, when all is said & done, I'm still a drum corps addict. No matter how long you've been out of it (nearly 14 years now), how many other hobbies/obligations/addictions you find to distract you (barbershop harmony, work, family, comics), it's in your blood - calling you back like the salmon of Capistano. I fully expect to leave shaking my head is dismay about a few of the shows I'll see, but I also expect to fully enjoy the experience and even aspects of the corps that'll strike familiar chords (pun intended)....
Or it could be a rain-soaked disaster. We shall see...
Coming up next: D.C. Aye-Yie-Yie!

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