Monday, August 18, 2008

Annual Interlochen Trek

We made our annual trek to Interlochen Band camp yesterday to listen to the Ann Arbor high school choirs and bands do their end-of-camp concert. Our older son Chris attended camp all 4 years he went to Pioneer and this was our younger son Ryan's 2nd year. The camp lasts from Tuesday to Monday, and it is stunning to hear what these young musicians and their teachers accomplish in such a short time.

We–Fritz, Chris, our four dogs, and I–left home at 9:00 AM. We are still learning to use our Garmin GPS, and hadn't programmed it to avoid dirt roads, so one of the final turns put us on a dirt road for many miles. That took up some extra time, darn it. We stopped for a very quick lunch, fed and walked the dogs, wolfed down lunch, and dashed to the Bowl for the concert. Ann Arbor's new Skyline high school will open this fall with only freshmen. Their choir led off the program. We arrived during their 3rd song and heard their 4th one. Their 13-member group did an outstanding job and got a standing ovation from many in the audience.

Huron's choir has always impressed me, and they didn't disappoint this year. Pioneer's choir was also wonderful. It was fun to hear them sing Sing Me To Heaven, which my choir, Women's Chamber Chorus, performed in the recent past.

Pioneer's band was once again outstanding. They played two songs, and the 2nd one, Africa, featured their large percussion section. It was simply fabulous! Ryan played gourd and marimba on this piece.

My brother and sister-in-law, Steve & Deb Burling, met their senior year at Pioneer, when they were stand partners in the clarinet section. They were on their way home from our family cabins in Ontario, and came to hear the concert - the first time they'd been back to Interlochen since the summer of 1970!

Once the concert was done, we moved over to the tennis court by the lake for Pioneer's marching demo. They explain the different marching components that the kids have learned during the week, then they do the Freshman 40, the Sophomore 40, the Junior 40, the Senior 40, and finally, the alumni 40. During the 40, the members, led by a drum major, march 40 yards down the court, with the percussionists bringing up the rear. This meant Ryan did each of the "40's." I was so engrossed in watching my brother join in the Alumni 40 (he was definitely the oldest alum out there - go, Steve!), I forgot to watch Chris. Sorry, son!

Next up was the drumline performances. Ryan will be in Symphony band this fall, so he moved up to the SB drumline, Conga. They rehearsed for many hours all summer long, and they gave a fabulous performance. I will put a link out (surely, someone will put it out on YouTube soon) when I get one. Ryan was in last year's Concert Band drumline, Ashiko's performance.

It was once again a great trip, albeit a long day. We didn't get home until 10:30, and then the Olympics sucked us in... I love it when they are on, but it does mean not enough sleep :-).

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