Saturday, December 12, 2015

David's First Musical

A munchkin comes out from behind a flower.
David was cast as a Munchkin this year in his school's production of the Wizard of Oz. I didn't get a lot of reports as to how rehearsals were going, but I knew they must be going well because I got to hear David humming or singing the tunes from the show on a daily basis.

Ding dong, the Witch is Dead.
Which old witch?
The wicked witch.
Ding dong the Wicked Witch is Dead...

My other clue that things were going well was the questions David would ask me. "Bonnie, have you ever been in a musical?" or "Bonnie, do you think flying monkey's are scary?" Other times, he shared observations or opinions.  "If I were to have a part in a musical, I would choose to be in set-design rather than on the stage."

A few days before opening night (one showing only), he began to question his decision not to volunteer for any speaking or solo singing parts.

"I should have spoken up when the Coroner was being selected. His line is, 'As Coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her. And she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead.' It's such  a funny line!" 

The night before the musical I saw him practicing the tune sung by "The Lollipop Guild". He encouraged his friend to perform the piece by putting his arm around his shoulder and starting to sing. David had memorized the lines, the actions, and even put his thumbs under some imaginary suspenders. 

Over 150 students participated in the musical. The audience made an extra special effort to follow the principal's instructions:  "Please hold all applause until the end of the production. This will allow us to dismiss the students in time to make it to their buses in 75 minutes." They finished with a few minutes to spare.

After the chairs were put away and the busses had left, David and I went to find his Music Teacher. Mme Danielle Reed was still filled with energy, and was happy to pose with David for a photo. She even let him try on the costume worn by the Wizard when he was floating away in his Hot Air Balloon.

Thank you, Arta, for starting David on his musicals journey fives years ago when you began teaching him tunes from Oliver. I offered to enrol him in Voice Lessons.  He declined, saying he is instead ready to try out the drums. Maybe we will be able to get in touch with Zach and find out if he is still enjoying drumming.

In the meantime, Jack Rabbits (cross-country ski program) started today. My Munchkin had outgrown his ski boots, so a quick stop in at John's Ski Shack was in order. David is on "Team Japan". He knows four of his classmates. It is his third year in the program. Off he skied with his group, leaving me to have a ski with my friend Marla. The conditions were a little icy, but still it was such a treat to in the Larch Hills on skis. Clear air. A few rabbit tracks. And 100s of children, enjoying this family-friendly winter sport (with more than one of them still humming tunes from the Wizard of Oz).


  1. David? You have a wonderful music teacher. She did a lot of work for just one performance -- I am so impressed with her talent. And it seems to me that you could have been the understudy for a number of parts. So many interesting characters to play and so much good music to learn.

    I remember the first time we looked at Oliver. I think we were learning "Food, glorious food ...." an interesting song to start with. I always wanted to teach you "One boy for sale ..." but that idea is somewhat frightening when you are young. I think you could handle the idea now.

    I have a question on another matter. Do you get to help with the recycling when your mom goes to the dump? I like stopping before entering the dump and getting the paper into the right containers. It feels like the environmentally right thing to do.

  2. Drumming lessons? Now that sounds like fun.

    Any kind of lessons are fun. Music is a language of its own -- its notation to start with. And being in a band or playing with a school group.

    I like your idea of singing lessons, as well. I could list people who have had singing lessons: Aunt Moiya, Lurene, Charise, me -- singing lessons are a powerful tool to train the voice. I was telling Wyona that I think Zoe would like singing lessons and she agreed. Zoe loves singing and lessons can sharpen that innate desire to do things right. Rebecca has had singing lessons for she sang in a choir in university. I think Aunt Catherine is singing a capella in her group, either last night or maybe tonight.

    Dave who cleans the house here sings along with the music he is listening to as he works. I think there should be more singing in the world -- spontaneous singing just for the fun of it.

    Now I have another question for David. Do you know where your diaphram is, and what a powerful tool it is for singing long, strong notes?