For most students it was the first day of school but for SASS violin students from OCCTAC in Santa Ana and their Suzuki friends from the Talent Education Center in Irvine, it was the day they played together for Mayor Kang and his City Council Meeting at the Irvine Civic Center.
My biggest worry was whether everyone would make it there on time with the extra craziness of the first week of school. But everybody was there ready and tuned for the sound check. I want to thank all of the parents that got them there calm and ready to play.
Even Dr. Jimenez made it back from her office at OCCTAC to see us play. She was very pleased to see all of the children and parents working together for such a great purpose.
We got an applause from members of the audience just for doing a sound check. There’s nothing like a little applause to calm down the butterflies in our stomachs. Then they put us back in the green room for the longest 10 min. we ever had to sit through, while they started the meeting. Everyone was so quiet with anticipation. Finally we were led back into the hall with all of the students from age 4 and up.
It was our first time letting someone else run the volume controls on the sound system. I don’t think they realized how big our tone was going to be so we restarted the Humoresque after they adjusted the sound levels. When my students could hear the piano part they quickly regained their confidence and opened up their tone again. The ensemble playing on the video is best after the first few lines of music when we finally all begin to synchronize, including the sound guy. Its not every day that he gets practice adjusting the sound for violins at a City Council Meeting. Not to worry. He picked up the violin sound with microphones so he could ballance it later.
The audience was very appreciative. We got a wonderful applause. The Mayor was really great with the children.
Link to Irvine City TV Media page:
Look for the Jump To . . . . . . drop down box below the screen and go to the line where it says:
Musical Presentation just above .2 and just below Moment of Silence in the jump to menu
The meeting was broadcast live within the city of Irvine on Cox Communications Channel 30. And will continue to be available on demand using the ICTV menu: http://cityofirvine.org/cityhall/citymanager/pio/ictv/city_council_meetings.asp
We played :
America the Beautiful, Humoresque – by Dvorak and Twinkle A
We finished Twinkle with our traditional game of ‘Up like a Rocket’ with our Gummy Life Savers on the tip of our bows. It was one more chance to make the Mayor laugh. Then we all took some pictures with Mayor Kang. With all of those parents in the auditorium taking pictures this took almost as long as the music.
Councilmember Beth Krom was right. It would be really cool if Mayor Kang picked up his bow again to play Twinkle with us. Maybe next time he’ll remember to bring his violin. He has a standing invitation to join us for any of our sessions. Group Lesson is every Saturday at 3pm @ OCCTAC and our next joint public performance with the TEC students is going to be at the Irvine Global Village Festival on Sat. Oct. 3rd.
It all went by very fast. And the children had such a wonderful experience. They were so excited when we got back to the green room to put everything away. What a wonderful story they have to tell their friends and family members. It was even more wonderful to see children from both the Irvine Suzuki program and the Santa Ana Suzuki program playing together for such an audience. I think they are all fired up to do it again some time soon.
You may wonder . . . How did we get an invitation to play for such an auspicious occasion as the first City City Council meeting of the school year?
Last April our Suzuki Studio participated the Irvine Day In the Park. It was early in the morning and it wasn’t very crowded yet. Only two Twinklers, Jacob and Sophie were there to help me with our booth which we moved under a tree. That was because my advanced students were all at orchestra rehearsal and some people were on Spring Break.
Mayor Kang was expected to open the event and afterward he always circles the booths and visits with everyone. When he got to our tree he saw the children playing their violins and asked if he could play on my violin. How could I couldn’t resist? Before you know it he and the kids were playing all the Suzuki songs that they knew.
My students discovered that this Mayor was not only an education mayor and a culture mayor. He was also a Suzuki Violin kid at heart. We are very lucky to have a Mayor of Irvine in Orange County who grew up playing the violin.
I want to thank Mayor Kang for inviting us, as well as the City Council Members and everyone that came to hear the children play. You were a wonderful audience. Thank you for giving our students so much encouragement and allowing them to share their abilities and enthusiasm with the local community at your meeting and on your media service. It was a privilege.
Mayor Kang is always welcome to come by and borrow my violin anytime he needs a break from the office. TEC is just down the block from the Civic Center between the District and the Diamond Malls.