Today is a basking and recuperating day. After a very successful day of performances by my younger two, we are all trying to recover from all the effort leading up to and including the day. Like many families, our household buzzes with the many creative outlets that children enjoy. Our younger two boys are involved in some slightly out of the ordinary activities for eight and eleven year olds. They both sing in the Men and Boys' Choir of Christ Church Cathedral were they are immersed in the tradition of Anglican(Episcopalian in the US) Church music and they are also part of the professional ballet training programme at the School of Dance in Ottawa.
Both boys had a 7:45 am call to be at the warm-up and dress rehearsal with other students from the School of Dance who were guest performers in the National Arts Centre Orchestra's Family Adventuresconcert. A series designed for families with young children. Number 4 even got to give flowers to the event's narrator, former prima ballerina, Veronica Tennant. They each had two performances as there were 1:30 and 3:30 shows. The boys have had to learn some very important skills in performing for the public and one of the most important is the waiting that goes on before it is your turn. While I was able to watch the boys from the audience sitting with their older siblings, my husband had the honour (while doing his job) of playing in the orchestra behind them. He has played for many great dancers over the years but this was pretty special for him and his colleagues who have seen the boys grow from infancy.
After their dance performance, the family hopped in the van and drove to Ottawa's Christ Church Cathedral for a concert of English Church Music. The boys were fed and watered and readied for performance while the parents and guests participated in a English pub-style dinner. The concert started at 7:30 and even the parents and others who hear them every week were transported by the music. The concert was being recorded for broadcast on CBC's Choral Concert on Sunday,June 14. The concert and fundraising campaign are leading up to the choir's upcoming trip to England in July. The men and boys will be staying at Cambridge with a Concert at Selwyn College on Canada Day and then at week in residence at Ely Cathedral. The tour will also involve some sightseeing and will finish with Evensong at St.Paul's Cathedral. I am very excited to be accompanying the boys as one of the parent chaperones. I feel so fortunate that the boys are able to benefit from being part of this tradition and sing music that can take them to a higher place. They enjoy working hard learning the music and singing together; they also enjoy playing floor hockey games before and after rehearsals and of course being boys quite a bit of food.
Today was really a day just to enjoy (and catch up a bit on tidying) and reflect on yesterdays beauty while I looked at today's flowers. As a parent, all we can do is provide the right environment and encouragement. Just as in a garden, you can only provide what the plant needs and encourage its natural habit of growth. We are back on the horse tomorrow with rehearsals, dance classes and school. Thursday will bring a fundraising concert that my husband is organising for the trip. It will be a concert of chamber music with some of his orchestra colleagues, my son's harp teacher and our daughter will be singing. She has been singing in the Cathedral Girls' choir for five years and is now one of the two head girls for the choir. The girl's choir tradition is much newer but it has been an excellent musical and learning environment for her and has given her some of the opportunities that can come from an all-girls environment. She is just starting to branch out a bit more with her solo singing but has already been asked to sing in next season's programming for Ottawa's Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra. So I will be doing a little more basking later this week.