Monday, 18 January 2010

kimana517: (music : hanson)
Friday night Isaac and I both left work a few hours early because we had to get downtown to be trained for working the Holt International Child Sponsorship table during Winter Jam. It was fun to cut the line (we had to be there an hour before the doors opened) and get right in for free. We went up to a Holt table near the Newsboys merchandise table and met some other volunteers, and then they asked us if we wanted to be stationed there or if we'd like to be down actually in the arena, where we would get mobbed at intermission but get to see the show. Um, yeah, no contest - we went down there. We ended up on the floor behind the sound/lighting guys, maybe the equivalent of 25 rows back from the stage and about 15 feet from the end of the runway from the stage. NICE. We were informed by the official Holt guy what to do, and we helped set up a bit, and we met some other volunteers, who were all incredibly nice. (Isaac even got to network a bit and gave out a business card, so hey, maybe his boss will really benefit from letting him leave work early!) 

The concert was great, but first let me tell you about volunteering. Turns out most of the Holt kids are up for adoption, and the sponsors are basically providing care for them until they are adopted - which could be any time from immediately to never. There were so many of them. There were about 12 full-length folding tables with at least 60 packets (one packet = one child) on each of them, and that's not even close to as many as Holt has. I had tears in my eyes when I realized that for all we knew our child/ren could be on one of those tables and maybe someone from Jacksonville would be caring for them until we can. I also almost cried when, after the concert had ended and the attendees had left, we had to put so many packets in a box to be taken to the next concert and those kids would have to wait another day to be chosen.

We really didn't have to do anything but enjoy the show until intermission, when we were indeed mobbed, but it was awesome to help so many people help impact kids' lives. I know a few Holt adoption brochures were given out too, so I am praying those people go for it. After the intermission the band Tenth Avenue North played and we were still helping people fill out forms during their whole set, so we pretty much missed them. After that we had a few more people come to the table, but we were pretty much done. Winter Jam still has a lot of tour dates, so if they're coming near you, I strongly encourage you to sign up to volunteer. If the awesome cause is not enough motivation for you, keep in mind that you will also get in free and get a free hat and CD.

Now, to the concert itself. Read more... )

So, Friday night we went to a rock concert for free. Saturday night we went to the symphony for free! Ha! Isaac had been looking forward to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's Organ Symphony Celebration for almost a year, because they were actually performing a piece (Symphony No. 3) by Camille Saint-Saens, his favorite composer. They also performed Bach's Toccata and Fugue and Jongen's Sinfonia Concertante (which neither of us had heard of), and it was all featuring a 23-year-old organ prodigy named Felix Hell, whose last name we made numerous original and very mature jokes about. We had seen online that there was something called "Words on Music" before the concert started and we figured we may as well go see what that is. I'm so glad we did! The conductor and organist told us about the pieces we would be hearing that night, about the organ (both generic organ-playing info and the JSO's historic and beautiful organ), and then answered questions. For someone like me, who is not a regular listener of classical music (I think it's beautiful, but I greatly prefer music with words to sing along to), that was extremely beneficial. It helped me understand and more greatly appreciate what we later heard in the concert. And it was an amazing concert. So gorgeous. I love watching the violinists out of the corner of my eye because when they raise their bows together it looks like reeds blowing in the wind. Isaac was enraptured when they finally started the Saint-Saens piece, because he had been waiting so long for it! I was proud of myself for recognizing a lot of it. (Although I owe that to Isaac since he listens to it all the time.)

Can I just say yet again how grateful I am to live in a place that, despite its small-town vibe, offers all the amenities of a city, like big rock concerts, and the symphony? And also how grateful I am that my dad works in a job that can get me free tickets to said symphony and free parking?

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kimana517

September 2011

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