I am amazed about this band, that we are able to rally early in the morning (6 am) for a drive to NJ and an 8:15 assembly for 500 middle schoolers in Allentown, NJ. We got there about 7:30 with little traffic problems, were ushered into a very nice auditorium with great lighting and set up with time to spare.
We proceeded to do a great show for a large crowd of hip kids and teachers. I was thankfully in command of the script, the band energized and the kids receptive from the start. We were told that the school’s band was top-notch, with annual trips to some of the great parades in NYC and in California, so we kind of knew that this would work well.
As usual, the 5th and 6th graders were really into it, and the more sedate 7th and 8th graders were off in the distance so it was easy to feed off the younger kids. A cool moment happened early on when I ask if there are any kids who can do a jig to our mandolin tune. One very bright 5th grade girl came up as well as a 6th grade ‘dude’. I knew where this was going and I welcomed it. The girl was incredibly good, with leg kicks that I can only dream of and a precise nimbleness to her dance. The boy started in on some goofy scissor moves that were done in fun and in the spirit. The place went nuts and was simply wonderful Celtic yin and yang, both performed with great zest. It made the rest of the show a piece of cake.
The band played great and I remarked after the delta blues tune that we sounded amazing at 8:30 in the morning. Actually, I know of no other band that could do this.
So, there we were, packed up and headed back to PA at 9:30 am. A much better feeling from yesterday’s tough gig.