Impressions from a spring concert

photo(133)Last night’s concert at my son’s middle school made an unexpected impact upon me emotionally. I’m not usually inclined to tears, but this gathering of kids, led by their obviously committed teachers, left me absolutely weepy. Here are the thoughts I had while sitting in that auditorium…

…there was a boy with a cast on his arm nevertheless playing saxophone.  During the presentation of the 8th grade participants,* a-soon-to-be graduate was introduced and described as having run in the rain to be present at his final Middle School performance. Each ensemble which took the stage was a remarkable variety of tall and short, dark and light, with every shade of skin, and texture of hair, imaginable.  Feet tapping, bodies swaying, heads nodding, everyone unified by the music they were making together. Beautiful.

I am so glad that my children attend a school where these opportunities are offered and valued.  The fact that this school is filled with a population often described euphemistically as “urban,” adds a richness to the experience for each and every student there.  These are kids that have interests and passions and talents, all of which are being fostered by the Albany City School District, and witnessed by their families.  It was a great evening and everyone involved should be proud.

*My son was introduced as the “one and only Griffin Lilly.” Never have I been more proud.

Follow up to Destination Lame:
I phoned the principal early this week and expressed my concerns about the trip.  She and I didn’t speak directly, it was more a game of phone tag and a series of voicemails, but I am satisfied with her response to my issues.  The trip, as presented to parents, is a bit different from the trip originally approved by administration.  The principal will be addressing the changes to the original itinerary and modifying the trip to add more structure and formal activities, as time and budget allow.  I was impressed with her immediate response and serious consideration of my concerns.

3 thoughts on “Impressions from a spring concert

  1. Very glad to see this follow up. And your “review” of the concert was spot on and a compliment to your own warm and cosmopolitan heart. Good job.

  2. As an Albany resident and parent of a 2-year-old I love reading stuff like this about Albany schools. I would love to compile this stuff and send it to the mayoral candidates. These good stories need attention, and the people committed to staying here need a voice. The narrative of “live in Albany until it’s time to move to the ‘burbs” needs to change. Thank you for this snippet.

    1. I’ve taught in rural, urban and suburban schools and each had its share of issues and advantages. The boys’ dad and I always agreed that we would assume things were going to go well in the Albany City SD. If they didn’t, we would weigh our options. We’re 10 years into the system and I haven’t had any problems that weren’t resolved with parental involvement and attention. I wish more people would resist the fears and negative hype. Believe me, the ‘burbs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

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