Tuesday, February 2, 2010

IMEA 2010

We have arrived... IMEA All-State! It is late Wednesday evening. We get unpacked and settle into our comfy suite. LaRae sleeps well and is ready for a 10:30 audition Thursday morning. Once that is over, she has to wait, wait, wait,... all day long, until 5PM when the results are posted and she will find out what orchestra (either All-State or Honors Orchestra) she made, as well as what seat she will sit in.

So, we go out to eat, take our time, get some groceries--since we have a microwave and frig. in our room... finally, we arrive back at the hotel, and the results are posted a little early!!!

She searches the lists (while I take pictures) All State first, then over to the Honor's list, and there it is! Her name--in first violin, Honors orchestra, chair 13! That's the same chair as last year! What a coincidence! She's happy she didn't move back! She preferred the music in honors; she's a happy girl. All those hours of preparation have paid off.

Back in the room, we all work on various projects.

We eat a light supper, and then at 6:30 PM, LaRae and I head down to her first rehearsal. The kids dive in and work until 10:30 PM! The music is hard. Danse Sacral from Le Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring) by Stravinsky is rhythmically exhausting! But LaRae loves it!

On Friday, the rehearsals last most of the day, evening free.

Then Saturday morning, they all meet at the Civic Center down the street (a hockey rink-- ice covered with mats! Cold!!!) They are to be in their seats at 7 AM. The dress rehearsal concludes at 8:30 AM and their performance isn't until 3:15... just enough time to finish up a few projects in the room, pack up everything, and eat lunch before the final event.

The final performance:
Short Ride in a Fast Machine - John Adams
Red Cape Tango - Michael Daugherty
Danse Sacral from Le Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring) - Igor Stravinsky
Danse Capoise - Ludovic Lamothe/Orchestrated by John Jost

IMEA consists of 2 orchestras, 2 bands, and 2 choirs. The All-State groups perform at 1:00, and the Honors groups at 3:15. One piece is played by all three groups together in each concert; it is a beautiful arrangement of "America the Beautiful." Below is a shot of the three honors groups performing together.

Below: LaRae and the honors orchestra conductor, Jean Montes, from Loyola University in New Orleans. He seemed to be such a humble man. (That's refreshing and somewhat unusual in the music business!!!) I sat in on a couple of the rehearsals, and it was a real joy to hear his soft-spoken, but deeply felt passion for the kids and the music.

The concerts are over, we're ready to head for home...

After supper, and on our way out of Peoria, we were presented with another beautiful gift for the day... There is always something for which to be grateful, isn't there?