For the second year in a row Conner auditioned and make the cut for the school district's middle school honors choir! For the past 6 weeks they have been practicing weekly and last week was the big performance, along with the high school honors choir.
What made this year's performance ah-mazing was the fact that they got to perform inside The Smith Center. This building is gorgeous!! And the acoustics are crazy good. Just a beautiful performing hall. I can only imagine the shaky knees and thumping hearts of those 6-8th graders as they stood on this massive stage and looked out at the sweeping audience and 5 balcony tiers.
They did a fantastic job. The high school choir was amazing (something to aspire to next year). And the guest director gave the kids an experience they - hopefully - will never forget. This man, Dr. Rollo Dilworth, has over 150 choral compositions that have been published and he even brought one of his brand new, never before performed compositions for the combined high school and middle school choirs (360ish kids) to present that night as the closing number. It was an arrangement of Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho and it. was. phenomenal.
We met Conner outside and he was on a high. It makes me so glad when he gets to have great experiences like this and he appreciates it and soaks it in.
Earlier that afternoon we dropped off Conner at 3:00 for his dress rehearsal and the rest of us went exploring around downtown. First we stopped at Fremont Street and took pictures outside the infamous Heart Attack Grill.
Yep, you eat for free if you weigh over 350 lbs. Payton doesn't make the cut.
But honestly, Freemont Street felt really yucky, dirty, creepy (and naked - "I'm averting my eyes!") to us so we left pretty quickly and walked the 2-3 blocks to the Downtown Container Park.
Ahhh, much better. I'm telling you, the vibe in this place screams Portland and the Pacific Northwest. Scott completely agrees. It is so not Vegas. And we love this little quiet, clean, hipster block in the middle of downtown.
The kids played, Scott and I sat nearby and chatted, I bought a bag of kettle corn for munching, and we just had a lovely little afternoon/evening.
As we walked out of the park we noticed a semi-circle of drums out in the open with random people beating to their heart's content. Of course we joined them!
Soon they began a drum ceremony to awaken the mantis. Ok, we're down with that. Whatever "that" is. The drumming intensified as the countdown began, 3 - 2 - 1 and BAM!!!
Massive, hot flames shot out of the mantis antennae.
Now this is what is what Vegas is all about. Random, cool stuff, with high entertainment value.
And it is possible to like both: the laid-back hipster vibe AND the flashy entertainment vibe. Just as long as you can steer clear of the naked brand of entertainment. :)