Monday, October 20, 2014

Did You Know About This?

So there I was, sippin' my mornin' coffee and yappin' with my mornin' girls in the work breakroom. A regular ol' morning, doin' my thing.

In walks a co-worker that we don't see often since she works at a different location -- so naturally we take a moment to catch up with one another.

"How are you?"
"Good! You?"

And then she says, "My daughter is in chorale."

There may have been more lead-in conversation, but whatevs, this is the main part of the story! She said her daughter was in chorale and was sining and loving it.


Ding! Ding! Ding!

The alarm, the excitement bells, an array of alert sounds were going off in my head and I started asking tons of questions... which led me to making a phone call, which led to an audition for my daughter THE VERY NEXT DAY.

When I shared the news with my 9 year old she was completely on board. Completely (mostly). There might have been about 36 questions that she had, but once I answered all of them (mostly) she was game to give it a try.  

"GOOD!" I said, "Your audition is tomorrow!"

The next day we went to a church choir room that had several cheery tweens romping about and one smiley teacher that greeted us enthusiastically.  I sat down while the teacher addressed Sarah and explained the simple 10 minute audition process.

Next thing I know my girl is belting out scales alongside a piano with complete ease and precision (mostly). I was crying. And recording. And crying.

She was singing scales like it was nobody's business!! "Ah Ah Ah Ah Ahhhhhhh" and higher and higher and higher and then lower and lower and lower. It was... incredible. Then... THEN... she was asked to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Folks, THIS IS NOT AN EASY SONG! I know, because I screw it up every single night when I sing to the kids at bedtime  A little off key here, a little rushed there, a whole lotta messy everywhere.

But my daughter NAILED IT! TO THE WALL! AND PERFECTLY (mostly)!

Upon the final note of the song the teacher looked at me and smiled and said...

I was so nervous! I was so so so so nervous... did she love her as much as I love her? Did she hear the talent, too or was it just my mom ears? I was so tense with excitement and a little anxious... and then...

She said. "I WANT HER!" and then I exhaled and my smile became so big that it wrapped around to the back of my head and then I realized I should probably speak and so I said...


It was fantastic! She wanted her to start rehearsals right then and there and ever since that day we have been off and running. Every Monday and Thursday night we get her to her rehearsals to sing for an hour and a half and when we pick her up she is cheery and happy and sing-songy... and it is really really fantastic.

That was 2 months ago.

This past weekend was her first chorale performance.  

Guess what...

She, they, all of them, the kids, the adults, the teens, the people, the audience, the conductors, the ushers, the everybodies -- they were FANTASTIC!

Stockton Chorale is amazing and I am so glad that my co-worker shared her story with me so I could be introduced to this gem of an organization that is part of our San Joaquin Valley! They have singing groups for 3rd graders on up! My daughter is in the youngest group and they are cutely called the Treblemakers! At the 6th grade level they move into the Youth Chorale, and at the high school level they become the Valley Youth Chamber Choir. The adults have several tiers of chorale groups as well. 

If you have a kiddo or a friendo that loves to sing and you think this would be a good outlet for them to hone their skills and to share their talent... tell them about Stockton Chorale! The group is outstanding and really a class act! There are fees, but overall they are small compared to the training and performances they get to participate in. But check it out for yourself: Stockton Chorale.

SIDE NOTE that is actually not a side note at all but should be a MAIN NOTE: I think it is important for us to remember that while it is a good thing to get involved in physical sports to keep our mind and body fired up and healthy - sports may not be what the hearts of some of our kids are desiring. ART is as valuable and beneficial to our children as any karate class, soccer position, or baseball team.

For my daughter, THIS and drama have been ideal for her to grow her confidence and to build her skills at making friendships and becoming social -- all the while learning a craft that none of us would ever want to have disappear from our lives. Thank you Stockton Chorale for giving my daughter the opportunity to shine at what she loves! Thank you for giving her family the opportunity to scream and cheer and root her on from the sidelines... albeit at the moments of the performance, and maybe not actually screaming. Thank you.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Disney on Ice GIVEAWAY!

I remember the first time I ever took my daughter to a Disney on Ice show like it was yesterday, although it was really 6 years ago; she was 3. We dressed her up in a princess dress and then bundled her up in a warm coat. All you could really see was some tulle down by her feet and a cutie little face poking out the top of a poofy jacket. I could FEEL her excitement and it was contagious!

We shuffled in with the crowd and found our seats in the arena. Sarah didn't want to sit. Instead she stood and held tightly onto the back of the chair in the row in front of us. I am pretty sure she was on her tippy-toes. Anything to get closer to the magic that was about to take place on the ice stage below.  

I was pretty excited, too. This is the closest I had been to a Disney event since the 12th grade, which was at least 25 years in my past.

We waited.

And then the show started! Out came the most beautiful and handsome hosts of the nights event, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Sarah's eyes were GLUED to the action. Blinking was not an option for fear she would miss even a split millisecond of the show. 

I cried.

Yes, I cried. I watched my daughter more than the show for the first 15 minutes and I could not control the tears that rolled down my cheek. She was in pure delight and in awe of the characters before her. To her, they were real! The princesses, the princes, Donald Duck, all of it... it was REAL and she was MESMERIZED with the action. I was mesmerized by her. Her innocence. Her imagination. Her wonder. 

That was 6 years ago and I think we have been to every show since. What she was at 3 was a little different at 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8... but not any age was less exciting.... there is always a bit of magic in the air and a whole lot of smiles on our faces.

This year will be no exception! Except that over the last three years I don't just cry when I see my daughter smile, I smile because I get to watch my 4 year old son enjoy it all, too. There is truly something for everyone!  In fact, this year I know my son is going to be in heaven as Lightning McQueen was able to free his schedule to go on this year's tour of Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Fantasy! Lightning McQueen, ya'all!!! LIGHTNING MCQUEEN!!!!!

If you haven't been to a Disney on Ice show.. you really ought to. Really.
In fact, you could maybe, possibly go for FREE by winning the Mom About The Town Disney On Ice Presents Worlds of Fantasy Family Four Pack! (say that ten times fast).

That's right, I have a family four-pack to raffle off! But before you enter, here's some information:

The Family 4-Pack is for Opening Night of the Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Fantasy show that will be at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento on Wednesday, October 22nd, 7pm performance. 

Also, please read this little print:
Winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter and be notified by blog announcement on Sunday, October 19th by 5pm.. Winner has 24 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Contest winner family four-pack will be provided for Opening Night, 10/22/14 7:00 p.m. performance.  No exchanges or substitutions can be made once the winner’s name has been submitted.  Winner or parent/guardian must be at least 18 years of age with valid photo ID to pick up tickets at the Box Office.  Winner tickets can be picked up at the Arena Box Office any time after 6:00 p.m. at the Will Call window on the Opening Night Performance of Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within Mom About The Town’s blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows. The opinions expressed represent my fair and honest opinion.