Friday, March 02, 2007

Pyramid Concert

Last night we attended a pyramid concert that included the entire fifth grade of our elementary school and several “show choruses” within our school system.

I think all the kids did a nice job. The quality was better with the older students, but Jake’s grade preformed well. Below is a one of the songs performed by the fifth grade.

All totaled they did three songs as an individual chorus and returned to the stage for the finale that included all of the groups singing together. If you are interested in seeing more, just click here and it will direct you to my videos.

Now for my rant.

I’ve had issues with this whole concert thing from the get go.

1) The music teacher stated that there was mandatory attendance for both concerts. She felt that since she had scheduled the dates months in advance there is no excuse for missing either or both concerts. Well guess what, the first one coincided with my monthly dog club meeting that I’m obligated to attend since I’m the president and with Larry’s economic conference in Chicago. Luckily I was able to get Meryl to take Jake. I could have dumped him with another family, but I had no idea when I’d be getting home. It was bad enough that I was keeping my brood up on a school night, I didn’t want to ruin another family’s bedtime.

2) Not until the day of the first concert did we find out when she wanted the kids to arrive at the venue. As an added bonus we found out it some sort of fund raiser for the music department/choruses and that admission would be charged. One complimentary ticket per student, the rest $5 a head (5 and under free).

3) Personal video recording was not allowed at the first concert. A professional was engaged to film the concert and if we chose we could buy a copy with $5 of each sale going towards the music department. I think it was $15 a pop, but I’m not sure. I was offended and tossed the flyer.

4) For the second concert we received the notice on when she wanted the kids the day before the concert. It was a slight improvement, but not by much and it was negated by the dearth of information. There was neither mention of an admission fee nor any sort of complimentary pass. Since no mention was made about taping I decided that I could and so I did.

5) Turns out the second one was $4 a head (5 and under still free). I only had a dollar on me and I had to wait until Larry showed up (he was coming straight from work). I generally don’t carry cash and the only reason I had was that was I had bought some potatoes earlier that day (Larry observed the potatoes was a better purchase than the tickets). I know I was not the only parent in this situation.

6) Both concerts were scheduled at 7:00 pm on a school night, Tuesday and Thursday to be precise. I found it telling that Jake thought this was odd. Both times the concerts went well past nine. That’s fine for the older kids, not so much for the fifth graders and their younger siblings. At 7:45 pm Max started to break down as his 8:00 bedtime approached. He whined and mumbled that it was lame and a waste of his time. He wanted something to eat and to go to bed. On one hand I was mortified and on the other amused. Fortunately we had two cars and I sent Larry home with Max and Nate. Rebecca stayed because she enjoyed the singing and all the pretty dresses the girls were wearing.

I have a feeling that I’ll be writing a letter to the music teacher sometime next week. She needs to realize that sometimes parents have other obligations that can’t be changed and admission fees need to be mentioned from the beginning so it feels a little less like extortion. I would have felt a bit more charitable if I had known the whole fund raising aspect to it, but I still would not have bought the video.

Next time we’ll know better that to bring the whole family.

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