A few days ago we had the opportunity to attend our granddaughter’s band concert at Millville Elementary School.
Being a recovering elementary school teacher, I avoid these things as much as is humanly possible. As a matter of fact, I have endured more school concerts than the average person should have to live through, what with two children and some grandchildren, to go along with my many years of being closely affiliated with the K-6 age group.
As a matter of fact, I recall one such concert. It was Christmas, I believe, and the band director had taken ill just before the performance began. I do not recall who stepped in to cover for the band guy, but she got up there and began to wave her arms about in a convincing manner and the children began to play.
It sounded as if each child was looking at different sheet music. They were all playing a different song--loudly!. I could not hear a single familiar tune in the cacophony that was coming from the stage.
I began to feel some of my “Inappropriate Laughter Syndrome” symptoms rising to the surface. I smiled broadly and tried to talk myself down from this dangerous precipice. I was a professional. I could get through this. I could do this. I had an almost painful grin on my face. (I was trying to let some of the mounting pressure out with the big smile and some deep breathing.)
As I continued to inwardly lecture myself about all the proud parents in the room and my responsibility to the community, my eyes strayed to another teacher, who was obviously going through the same pain. Our eyes met and we instantly crumbled and boiled out the back door of the multi-purpose room.
I’ll tell you this right now, if laughter is healing, and I believe it is, this group needed to go on tour to play for all of the hospitals in the area. They would clear them of most of their patients. With one performance, everyone would get to go home.
Fortunately, the Millville concert was excellent. Neither Jan Humphrey nor Jaci Voelz became ill before the concert and they directed their charges with grace and aplomb. Actually, I think we should all bow down before them in awe of their skills and dedication. Anyone who works with subjects as unpredictable as children should be given reverential regard, if not the Distinguished Service Award.
The students did a wonderful job and alas won’t get to heal anyone.