Friday, July 13, 2012

My Last Performances With The Fort Music Department

I tried to keep everything on this blog in chronological order but recently it has come to my attention that I posted about graduation prematurely. I forgot (as one often does) about one of the most significant weekends of my entire stay in Fort Atkinson. The weekend of Jazz di pasta/ Jazz dizzert.

Jazz Di Pasta and Jazz Dizzert were two final music concerts that took place over the saturday and sunday before graduation weekend and marked the end of the musical year. The shows were run for the first part like a dinner theatre. There was a variety show  going on in which students performed pieces that had been selected for the show through an audition process. During the variety show the audience were seated at dinner tables and served food which I thought was a very cool concept. After the variety show there was a main concert in the auditorium (the variety show took place in the commons/cafeteria) which involved both showchoirs and both jazz bands as well as a brief acknowledgement of seniors involved in the fore mentioned groups and a few awards for a select few of said seniors.

I auditioned 3 pieces for the variety show and managed to get all 3 of those into the final show. I accompanied my good friend whom I went to prom with on guitar while she sang "Will you remember me" by April Matson. I also played with the percussion ensemble, we did a piece named "Ritual of the Tribe" which we had very successfully performed at the state solo/ensemble festival previously. The third piece I was involved with was definitely the most fun. I played bass and "sang" for want of a better word in a 3 person rendition of "Welcome Home" by Coheed and Cambria which seemed to go over well with the audience. On top of the variety show performances I also played with the jazz band and sung/danced with the showchoir.

On Saturday the show ran fairly smoothly, although I was really tired and the last thing I really wanted to do that weekend was spend two days at school performing. On Sunday, however, emotion took its toll. I suddenly realised when I got to the high school for Sunday's show that this was the last time I would walk into the music department, feel those nerves, get up on stage and sing, pick up my guitar, the last time I would ever play as a high school musician. Honestly it felt like someone close to me had died. I spent almost the entire day bawling my eyes out. All that had kept me going all year was the music department. The best part of my day was always the half when I had classes down there. I dreaded Cook yelling at me during jazz 2nd hour and felt invincible on the days when he didn't. I couldn't wait to get to band to see Blair because I knew every day without fail she would put a smile on my face. I complained about not wanting to sing for choir and watched the clock for lunch to roll around. I was too tired to dance in showchoir so I always hoped we'd have a singing day or that something else would come up. That department was my life and on that particular Sunday, my life was coming to an end.

I think on top of everything I've already mentioned, that Sunday also brought crashing home the reality that in a month I would be leaving Fort which is something I'm still struggling to come to terms with as I write this from the warm comfort of my bed back in Wellington, New Zealand. It highlighted everything that I was soon to lose and while I was much more ready for it when the time actually came, that Sunday I wasn't ready to cope with those feelings. It took everything I had to get up on the stage during the variety show and play my way through those feelings without losing it entirely.

Jazz Di Pasta and Jazz Dizzert were definitely my favourite performances of the year and overall a fantastic idea for a music department fundraiser. I can only hope that the community will continue to support it and the high school music department and pray that it wont be long before I am back to sit in the audience and appreciate the vast talent of the musicians at Fort Atkinson High School. The music department at Fort did more for me than I think I could ever explain in words to anyone and it will forever remain embedded in a little part of my brain labelled "The Best Days of My Life."

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