Our Chime Choir gets to do their first performance this Friday. They will be performing with the band and orchestra in the school Christmas concert during the day at school, and in the evening for the parents. I dreaded today’s early 7 am rehearsal because I knew I had to work some things out about concert order and where we would be setting up. The band teacher has been quite short with me and quickly shot down my ideas of how we could all share the stage and the best way to arrange things.
I talked to her briefly in the hall last week and she said, “We are going to have you guys go in the middle, on the floor.”
Trying to assert myself, I said, “No, I don’t think that will work. We could be in the very front of the stage with the chairs and stands all set up behind us.”
“Well, we’ll work it out next week,” she said, with a dismissive attitude.
When we got there at 7, the band was already up on the lunch room stage rehearsing. What? How did they get set up so quickly? Anyway, I took my students over to the gym stage, where we usually rehearse, and decided we would just practice there. Once we got all set up and had started our first song, a couple timid kids came in and said that the band teacher had asked that we come into the lunchroom. Right. I’m going to move these three 6 foot tables with chimes on them to the lunch room. But, in the spirit of compromise, I told the kids to just bring the chimes they actually play and their music folders, and maybe we could try it without the tables. We went to the lunch room and sat around while another group played. When the band finished and the orchestra started to set up, I went up to talk to Mrs. M, the band teacher. Understandably, she was already pretty stressed. She asked if we could please be on time and ready to start at 7 am tomorrow, as we would go first. I told her I would, even thought that means I really have to be there at about 6:45 to set up the tables and chimes. I told her that we were just rehearsing in the gym, and if she had a minute when she was done, she could come down and see our set up.
So, she followed us to the gym, we got to our tables, and played our three songs.
“Cute,” she said.
Cute? I’m going to try to not take offense and accept that as a complement. Grrrrr.
“That will work with them on the stage like that for the evening performance, but I don’t think we can have those tables up there for the school programs. We just don’t have the time to move them.”
A compromise had been reached, and I didn’t have to bully or be bullied in order to reach it.
I think she was jumping to conclusions because she didn’t really understand what we were doing, just that we were some new upstart trying to take away her students and edge into her program. Hopefully I handled myself well enough to show that we are a legitimate musical group, and we deserve the right to perform.
Now I just need to call the parents and make sure that every one of my kids makes it THERE to practice in the morning.