Fresno All-State Orchestra

Thursday Albert and I drove down to Fresno to drop Megan off at the All-State Orchestra. She was down there Friday and Saturday and today we went down again to see the concert before picking her up and driving her home.

They practiced like crazy… up at 6:20 am and busy til 11:30 pm whereupon she would fall into bed exhausted. One rehearsal was 4 hours straight and she said her fingers felt all raw.

But she had a blast, made new friends, and the concert was AMAZING.

Here’s a picture of a lady giving them all instructions before the group picture. I heard 1500 kids auditioned for all the orchestras (there were something like 4 orchestras, and Megan made it into the high school orchestra). 500 made it into all the orchestras, 100 of them into the orchestra Megan was in.

She was in second violins… wayyyy in the back (second from the right). Megan said the kids there are so good she felt like a 2-year-old who had just picked up the violin for the first time. It was quite an honor that she made it in!

The orchestra was a little different layout that usual — the second violins were all the way on the right instead of the left. We ended switching seats to get a good view of Megan. Here they are, all ready to take the group shot now. What a nice orderly group!

Megan raved about the conductor. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone conduct without any music at all. They also recorded the concert. Notice the mic stand set up — right in front of Megan. I had to lean way in the left in order to get a picture of her unobscured by the stand!

It was a totally amazing concert, the best student orchestra I have ever heard. They sounded professional and the range of styles, expression, and dynamics was amazing. I was thinking, “Is that the orchestra or is that the acoustics from the hall that makes everything sound good?” It was like listening to a high quality CD recording!

The word that came to mind was, “butter.” Smooth as butter. And then “one instrument.” It really felt like it was just one instrument playing.

Afterwards, they received a well-deserved standing ovation.

Even their bows were just about perfect.

It was a very enjoyable concert. We were in Saroyan Hall in the Convention Center.

Thank goodness for texts! After the concert we were wandering around the huge hall, trying to find our daughter. After some texting, we were finally able to meet up and our family was happily reunited.

Then the long drive home. Albert was such a trooper and drove all 7 hours himself while I dozed both directions. I’m a driving wimp. Can’t last 20 minutes in the car without falling asleep!

Then when we got home, Albert took a nap while I whipped up a celebratory dinner of ramen (Megan’s request), Tandoori chicken, and green beans in 20 minutes. Quite an eclectic meal but so nice for our family to have dinner together again!

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