raystrobel47: (Default)
One last reminder for Tuesday night's Pittsburgh Symphony concert at Wilkinsburg High School, starting at 7pm. Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for students, and groups of 10 or more get tickets for $5 each.

As I will be helping in preparing for the event, I need to be at the HS at 5pm. I get out of tutoring at 4:30. Ergo, I'm not coming home and will miss most/all of Tuesday Night Dinner. Y'all have fun without me, maybe I'll see a couple of you at the concert, and next week will be back to normal.
raystrobel47: (Director)
For all y'all in the Pgh area:

The Pittsburgh Symphony continues its outreach to the Wilkinsburg School District and community with its 6th concert at the High School auditorium on Tuesday, March 17, 2009, at 7:00pm. Yes, it's St. Patrick's Day, but that's when it got scheduled. Ticket prices are: $7 for adults, $3 for kids. Compare that with normal concert hall prices. Music will include Britten's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" narrated by Andrew Stockey of WTAE. The conductor, Dan Meyer, is in his last appearance here as he is moving to a new position later this year, so it will be a special occasion for him as well.

These concerts, which started when I first got hired in Wilkinsburg, are directly responsible for our ability to take advantage of the VH1 Save the Music grant received by the district last October. Were it not for the money raised by ticket sales these last 5 years, the school would not have owned extra instruments to give more kids an opportunity to play, and we would not have an operating budget. The district pays for nothing of what keeps this program running, except for my salary. Everything I need- valve oil, reeds, method books, instrument repairs, etc., is coming from money raised by these concerts. And this year, there's a big push to fill the auditorium, as attendance has dropped slowly over the last few concerts.

If you are a local, please indicate if you are interested in going. To TND folks- [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar and Pookie are staying home because the timing is too late to go on a school night, so there will be TND. However, there's you are still welcome and invited to take advantage of this opportunity to hear great music at dirt-cheap prices, to benefit these kids who are finally getting a taste of what most schools have always had.

I will have a handful of tickets to sell personally. You can also call (412) 871-2125, which will send you to the superintendent's secretary. Why? Because our PR representative left the district last Friday for another job, and his position is not going to be filled any time soon. Fortunately, the PR rep for the Symphony has graciously offered her assistance in getting this concert the exposure it deserves. We want everyone to be there- students, parents, community members, college students, anyone who loves the orchestra and supporting music in schools.

I appreciate y'all reading all the way through this. It's going to be a fun and exciting night, and I hope to see some of you there. Please, a poll before you leave:

[Poll #1355427]
raystrobel47: (Music)
So, things are going noticably better at WHS, and the HS choir is not excluded. I am now excited, because I just got off the phone with Thomas Douglas, notable tenor and vocal instructor at CMU. He's agreed to come to see my HS choir and give something of a master class, as well as some advice for me. Oh, he's also a Wilkinsburg graduate, so it's helping his alma mater. This is great. The steps seem like small ones, but I hope it will pay off in the future. He even mentioned the concept of a side-by-side concert with the Bach Choir, which would rock my Baroque socks off, cuz you know I'm gonna be all up in that m'self. Just sayin'.

So. Make the change, because it won't happen by itself.

Concertage

May. 18th, 2006 10:12 pm
raystrobel47: (South Park teacher)
The Spring Concert is over, and everyone survived. The kids pulled it off pretty well, despite my best male middle schooler inexplicably not showing up, and my problem high school soloist showing up. I'm glad it's over. The rest of the concert was nice. There were two elementary groups performing, one recorder and the other African drum. The steel drum portion sounded good. The high school band sounded better than I expected, but still has a long way to go. I need to get more out of my kids. A lot more. But that's a goal for next year. Now I just need to get them to hang their damn robes up on the hangers, give them a vocal test, and work on material for next year.
raystrobel47: (Play brass)
Though Pennsic was indeed fabulous and wonderful, deserving of journaling on its own merit, that isn't why I'm breaking my recent drought of posting.

I moved jobs within Wilkinsburg.

I am no longer at Johnston Elementary. I am now the choir director for the middle and high school, I will teach general music to middle school plus two music appreciation classes at the high school (same building), and I've taken on the Assistant Band Director position.

Should be fun, exciting and new. I really am looking forward to the change, but nerves exist nonetheless. Wish me luck, y'all.
raystrobel47: (Trumpet)
I took my first field-trip as a teacher today that I organized and everything. I took select 2nd graders to Heinz Hall to see the Pittsburgh Symphony's Schooltime Concert. We had 19 kids go, along with myself, a 2nd grade teacher, a special-ed teacher, and a parent. It actually worked out really well. The kids were well behaved, the bus was on time, and we got to sit in the right balcony! That was cool! It was a good program and the kids liked it. We even got to leave first and not have to wait forever! I'm impressed. Hopefully this won't be a fluke experience.
raystrobel47: (Feh)
There's a new first grader in my class. Yup. School is over two weeks from today, boys and girls, and there's a new student.

Don't ask. I can't explain it, nor do I want to.
raystrobel47: (Trumpet)
Well ladies and gents, the concert happened, and as I suspected back in my little brain, it went just fine. The kids truly played their best performance, and even though it wasn't perfect, it sounded quite good. I was proud of them. All the kids were there, most of them looked quite nice, and the music went off with only a few minor hitches here and there. I even played trombone in a concert for the first time in my life. A load, from my shoulders, has been lifted.
raystrobel47: (Trumpet)
Tonight is the concert for all of the Wilkinsburg bands, starting with the very first Wilkinsburg Elementary Band concert in about 10 years or so. Two of the three songs we're playing are my arrangement. One is "Hot Claire de la Buns," a fusion of 'Hot Cross Buns' and 'Au Claire de la Lune' which are in every single beginning band method book on the planet. So instead of just ripping through each of them, I've put them together to make it more interesting and just plain different. The other piece I arranged is "Hit the Road, Jack" in recognition of Ray Charles. I hope it comes off ok. I feel that with three more weeks we'd be better off, but plainly put it's on tonight. We'll do the best with what we have. The middle number is called "Swing Street" and is a basic beginner swing tune. Nothing to write home about.

I'll be nervous, but more concerned with getting the kids to play the best they can. I'm hoping and expecting that their performance will be well recieved, as the middle and high school kids and parents will already be there.

I apologize to the Tuesday night crowd as I won't be home until later, not sure exactly when. I will be glad to arrive once I do, though.
raystrobel47: (Conch shell)
I was a very gloomy camper earlier this morning. I'd discovered that LJ, all my sports sites and some comics sites had been blocked. Great. No more checking LJ at work and updating and I'd feel cut off and on and on and on... ([livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar can attest to this)

However, one quick message to the IT director about the wave of site blockages, and poof! they're back! Yay!! I bounce ceremoniously.

*bounce*bounce*
raystrobel47: (Default)
So, went to Baronial 12thnight yesterday after church. There was a lot more going on than I thought there'd be, which I think to be a good thing. Especially for a garb-optional event. I watched Lake for a while, who was having so much fun with Elizabeth and other kids there, and looking so damn cute in the dress that [livejournal.com profile] mikoy made her. We shared pasta and other goodies, and once it was time to warm up the choir she was down trying to be encouraged to pillow fight but really more interested in the CHALK! that was there.

It was great to see a baronial court, first in quite a while, and the choir got to perform during court while the cakes of misrule were being distributed. It was great knowing that Alonzio and Tatiana got to be right there to hear us, even if we only sung 4 songs. I thought we sounded well, and we were balanced at 8 people! (SSAATTBB) It was also nice singing in CMU's McConomy Auditorium, meaning we had decent acoustics for the first time in quite a while.

I saw [livejournal.com profile] kaote for the first time in ages and was very happy to catch up with her and see her face when I introduced Lake to her. :-) I swear, it was like, "Whoa- you really do have a kid now!" I'm also glad that I didn't accept to run for comet pursuivant this time around. It's just not the right time, especially after buying the house.

That got me thinking, though, and I'm coming up with a list of what I'd like to accomplish in the SCA this year. One of the things that I liked during court was seeing the things that I know I could enjoy doing and do well. It's all a matter of timing and scheduling.

Lake was so tired by the end of the evening, you could tell it was all she could do just to stay awake. When I got her in the truck to go home, we'd barely gotten out of the garage that I noticed her passed-the-f**k out. That was one zonked child.

Today's the first day of the instrumental program at Wilkinsburg. I hope that things go smoothly until we can find a rhythm of what we're doing.
raystrobel47: (Default)
Whee, I have a paid account, and no icons went *poof*. I'm relieved by that.

My sweetie is off to [livejournal.com profile] blackpaladin's to scribble and I'm here alone with the computer. >;-)

The only disturbing news of note is that tomorrow morning there is a meeting for all Johnston faculty arranged by the superintendent. Bill, who worked at Wilkinsburg for 35 years, said he's never seen that happen in his years of teaching. I'm afraid that this might be a "bad thing", and I don't know what it could be. I'm just nervous about it. But, I'll go, and I'll find out, and it'll be over.

That, and I found out that our school secretary's son has died. No details beyond that. Very sad.
raystrobel47: (Default)
I'm in later than yesterday because [livejournal.com profile] lstrobel's daycare had a Father's Day breakfast this morning, which was a lot of fun. I got to have breakfast with my cute daughter, who in fact loves food (it's true!), and she seemed to have fun too. From there I went to Squill to mail out Father's Day cards that I forgot to buy yesterday, and now I'm just here to do some cleaning. It's late enough that I want to do anything really involved, but cleaning up will make it a little easier once I resume doing my inventory.

I ran into the building rep in Squill, who's good friends with the principal. She wasn't in the last week of school and nobody knew what was going on. She will be in next week, and the word I've heard is that this past year has just been really hard for her. I won't disclose details, but it's certainly understandable. I was relieved to hear that.

Well, I'd better finish up so I don't die from sweating in here. Yeah, 100% humidity in a 7'x12' office, that's my work environment buddy.

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