Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Winter: Day 2

It seemed a little milder today, or maybe I dressed warmer. I almost got a little sweaty at one stage (in my woollen long sleeve top with a cardigan and my thick woollen overcoat carrying three bags sitting in the tropical surrounds of the swimming pool...)

Anyway, tonight I went here.

To see this boy (and his friends).

In this crowd.

(Click on the picture go to the flickr page and see the note pointing out his position.)

It was the Festival of Instrumental Music organised by the Department of Education. Over 1,000 kids from State schools performing for us. Three quarters of them on recorder in the NSW Combined Schools Recorder Ensemble but also about 200 in the Combined Schools Wind Ensemble too. 200 kids crammed on stage playing violin, viola and cello at one stage! As well as a bunch of smaller groups and some soloists.

When the note first came home about this concert, we were warned that tickets sell out fast so be quick. I didn't buy a ticket though. I'm cynical... See it just as a money-grabbing exercise by the Department and wasn't willing to fork out $40 to see my kid play for five minutes. But as the day came closer Dante kept asking if I was coming to see him and, well, I figured I'd better do the right thing and at least try.

I met up with the kids while they were having dinner at Circular Quay and was told by the teachers that if I hurry I might have luck at the Opera House Box Office. So after giving Dante a big hug and smoochy kiss in front of his friends (which surprisingly he didn't repel!) I set off in search of a ticket. The nice lady behind the counter said they were sold out but pointed me to a queue and said I could wait there in case anything comes up. Apparently some people hand their tickets in at the last minute if they can't make it. I was fourth in line. What I affectionately called the Bad Parents Line.

I waited for about twenty minutes before deciding that was enough. I tried, but I wasn't going to waste half my night lining up for a ticket. I hadn't had dinner yet or anything. So I went outside and took pictures of the incredible beauty of the Opera House lit up at night with the spiffy new camera. I managed to see the kids coming back to go inside and walked with them for a bit, until I couldn't go any further.

Eventually, after most people were seated but before the concert began, I wandered down to the info counter and asked if there was anywhere I could sit to maybe listen? I must have looked pathetic or something because the lady reached under the counter and instead handed me a ticket. "You might as well just take this," she said. "One of our VIPs didn't show up. It's a good seat."

I couldn't believe it! In fact she had to tell me twice to take it. I hurried upstairs and had an incredible seat. First row of the dress circle. Awesome!

And despite all my cynicism about these concerts, I've come to realise that I do actually enjoy them. What a big dag, huh? There's just something about seeing all these incredibly talented kids that fills me with delight. Knowing how much work the kids and the teachers put into it. What an opportunity for them! I certainly never was given a chance like this when I grew up. Plus it was FREE! The Chinese in me was happy about that. Dante was so happy when I met up with him afterwards. Glad that I saw him in action, that I was there to support him.

It felt like a great parenting moment. We celebrated with ice creams before catching the train home, tired but happy.

No comments: