Way to go kids, you were amazing!
Parents please help me by thanking the other staff members and parents that make events like this possible. It takes a lot of volunteers to provide this experience for you and your children. A little encouragement will help us to get those that helped to help again. If you noticed your child’s classroom teacher present, please say a special thanks to them. It will mean a lot coming form you. If they were middle or high school teachers they would be paid for supervising this event. Their emails are available on the Gifford website. This was the best student audience we have ever had, largely because staff members (and some parents) were there to keep them quiet during the other choir’s performances. Other people that deserve recognition are Mrs. Peavler for her help making the children’s choir videos special, Brett Halladay for video-taping and sound help and Chris Janus for running the sound.
Miss McCormick and I are very proud of the children. Many of the pieces performed are so far out of the ordinary for elementary school that it pretty much puts Gifford in a class by itself. The fourth and fifth graders sang in harmony and the fourth graders sang in Spanish. Soloists led the carols very well and can you believe little Michael from 4 year old Kindergarten standing up in front of 3000+ people and singing a solo? How about the Caiman Chorus preparing three excellent pieces with only one rehearsal every two weeks? And the community choir…Wow!
We are very blessed at Gifford to have the dedication of parent helpers such as Mrs. Benton, Mrs. Merritt, Mrs. Haschker, Mr. Halladay, Mr. Janus, Mr. Steinbach, Mrs. Senzig, and several parents whom my tiny brain can’t put with a name at the moment. We have amazing children with families who love and support them. We have the sound equipment because of an active and caring PTA and donations from thoughtful parents. Some parents have even helped doubly by donating money to the program and seeking matching funds from their employers. We have a principal who understands what it is to be a part of a community and the importance of the music to children’s development. We have an amazing facility, although it has it’s problems, and a school district that can provide the facilities we need to host our mega choir events. Next time you hear someone complaining about property taxes, remember that we all get a better community when our schools succeed. I haven’t had time to read about the upcoming referendum but I would ask you to consider the value your children get at Gifford. What would our city look like if all students had the opportunities that our Gifford children have?
I am always open for suggestions for making this event better. Having it on a Saturday has it’s advantages and disadvantages. It conflicted with sports events that our very active children are involved in. It was on the same day as the Holly Days in Harmony concert that is a huge fundraiser for RUSD vocal music, Saturday is my only day off during the week and I would rather not hold concerts on my day off and we had only about 65% participation down from 80%. On the positive side, many parents who can not make a weekday concert came to this. The custodial staff had time to set up additional chairs for us for the first time. We had more time to get the sound system working. Elderly people who would not come to an evening event felt more comfortabe coming to a daytime one.
Please comment your own suggestions below. Here are a couple from me to you. Please consider car pooling. If grandma is going to come meet her somewhere and drop her off at the door so she doesn’t have to walk so far. Less cars means more room for others to park. Please follow the directions in the program and from me about dismissal. I was VERY disappointed in parents that did not wait for the K and 1st graders to be dismissed. You made a couple little people cry. Students are required to stay for the entire program, if you left before the program ended to beat the traffic or for some other non-emergency reason, shame on you. I don’t mind volunteering to provide these events for your children but I do mind inconsiderate people that choose not to follow the plan for the good of the community. Emergencies are not what I’m talking about.
Don’t forget Skatetown on Dec 13 6-8 PM. Attending this event will help pay for the costs for the all school concerts for which there is no budget and it will be a nice family night out. Tickets are $5 and available at the door.