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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Mountain’s Got Talent

My student “recital” this year, called “The Mountain’s Got Talent” (after the original “Britain’s Got Talent”), was a everything I hoped it to be.

It featured 40 of my students, including my boys Aaron and Sammy, performing 23 numbers. I actually hate to even use the word “recital” because people involuntarily yawn and roll their eyes just hearing the word due to having endured excruciating ones in the past. So let’s call it a student concert, with most students playing as part of bands I piece together just for the show. I get professional backup musicians (this year Steve and Tyler Smith) to pad whatever bands I don’t have enough student personnel or talent to fill. As their teacher, I’m part of almost every band, on various instruments and vocals (my motto is “You’re never alone on stage, unless you want to be.”).

Here’s Sammy with his band “The Flying Monkeys”, smiling and performing the opening number, “I Love We Will Rock’n’Roll You” (a Queen/Joan Jett medley).

Here you see video footage (by John McIntosh) of the Flying Monkeys featuring both drummers—Sammy age 6 and Colby age 6, two guitarists—Trevor age 9 and Riley age 8.

Trevor and I also shared vocals on this number, which set the rock’n’fun tone for the enthusiastic, packed audience.

Next up, Aaron brought the house down with his synthesizer orchestra rendition of the Darth Vader theme “Imperial March” with me accompanying him on drums. I could kick myself because I didn’t have video tapes in my bag, so I don’t have any footage of it, but at least in this picture you can see how much fun he has doing his thing.
Earlier that morning, he looked over at me during a pause in our rehearsal and, seeing the look on my face, said “What?” I answered, “When you were born, I never thought we’d be doing this together!” Obviously I’m lovin’ it.

The set covered a wide variety from Bach to Jimi Hendrix. I hope to collect more videos clips and pictures from students and put them together into a video montage with better sound eventually, but for now, enjoy this taste....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Momentous Occasions

(Sammy left, Aaron right)
The boys had their AWANA awards night on Wednesday June 3. (If you don't know what AWANA is, visit The boys worked hard all year to earn every bit of recognition they received. Aaron got the final plaque for Sparks and will be moving up to TNT next year. Great work!

Katie Cornell graduated from high school on Saturday June 6. She actually mentioned us as having an impact on her life as her first Sunday school teachers from way back when she was in the 1st and 2nd grade when we were quote "young" as she said. She also mentioned Arich and Syble Harrison as having had a profound impact as her 5th and 6th grade Sunday school teachers in getting her to be daily in the Word (Harrisons, I hope you're reading this!). Doesn't Katie look beautiful? We still see her as the little girl in our class.

(Photo by Cristina Diaz)
There was a youth going-away-party for the Crossons at the Dunn's house on Sunday, June 7. Here you see the youth all laying hands on Geoff and Nicia (they're in there somewhere!). It was a bittersweet time filled with laughter and tears and seeking the Lord.

After a similar time of prayer at CCLA services, we had an official church party. We will miss you, Geoff and Nicia!