Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tadpole’s Big Concert

Oops, we’ve been paying so much attention to my stuff that we haven’t been keeping track of other important stuff!

Tadpole (also known as the World’s Cutest and Most Intelligent Kid) plays cello and string bass. He plays cello with his school orchestra, and he plays bass with the citywide Albuquerque Youth Orchestra. Sunday evening was the big end-of-season concert for the citywide program (, which involves the very best of Albuquerque’s young musicians from grades 3 through 12. There are a total of 5 groups, and they are all excellent: the Junior Strings (grades 3-5), the Junior Orchestra (middle school), the Junior Symphony (middle school, more advanced), the Youth Orchestra (high school), and the Youth Symphony (high school, performing at a professional level – last year, they played in Carnegie Hall, and this year, they’re touring in Brazil).

This year is the 50th anniversary of the program, and as a special feature of the program, a composer, Michael Schelle (, has been commissioned to create new music for each of the five orchestras.

The concert was great. Even at the elementary-school level, these are fantastic musicians. As the orchestras progressed, so did the level of professionalism. I especially liked “Vox Humana,” Schelle’s composition for Tadpole’s orchestra. The music was inspired in part by a teenager, and in part by a Maine Coon Cat. And the instrumentation included cell phones. Yes, it sounds weird, but it works.

Of course, all of the orchestras also played a lot of other great music, such as Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, but for me, the new music was the highlight of the evening. It was good, after my own weekend was so disappointing, to see Tadpole’s hard work on his music pay off.


Blogger Pat said...

And we aren't seeing much these days of that boy; today his high school orchestra went to a retreat in the mountains near Santa Fe to work with some other high school orchestras on some special music that will be presented this Wednesday evening at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Mon Apr 24, 12:21:00 PM MDT  

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