There's a fight breaking out in the front row of the year 1 rendition of Oh Christmas Tree. Maybe over zealous actions making out the shape of the tree caught someone's eye? In the next (my least favourite song though all the children seem to love it) the autistic boy in class is sitting in his Santa hat on the edge of the stage, a little way off from the fray. His Key Worker is holding his hands to help him sign the Christmas word, smiling and bouncing his arms to the rhythm. Kids are falling off the stage. Some (including mine I notice) are playing with the leads to the mikes. There's a great poem starting with 10 little snowmen, making it an mathematical lesson as well as a seasonal song. A tough looking boy with a broad East End accent, complete with crew cut, Nike trainers and a chunky Pringle Christmas cardigan, finishes it off: "Then there was NONE!" Wouldn't want to mess with him.
The wonderful headscarved teacher is leading her flock, singing "I love thee lord Jesus" with gusto. A girl, she must only be 6 or 7, steps up boldly to the mike and belts out a slightly off key solo. Actually that's generous. Well off key would be more accurate. There are microphones hitting the deck. 25 violins! 25!! Sounding fabulous. What's the collective noun for violins? And since when did my kids' school grow so many violin players? A dozen brass instruments playing something approximating My Favourite Things. They are cheered for the sheer enthusiasm of their teacher and exuberance of their performance. Makes me pretty glad to have a violin learner at home. And finally, of course, the tear-jerking, hand -waving finale about friendship across cultural divides. "Lift your banners high for justice and for peace. Lift your banners high; may our friendship never cease." Is this gut wrenching schmultz of the tackiest variety or our true calling on this planet; the very stuff of life?? For me it's definitely the latter.
I can only hope that tomorrow's concert offers even half the entertainment!
But that's all a bit of a distraction from the tree and the star and the Advent Adventure. Here's no. 18... we seem to still be missing one or two, but can't really work out which ones. Several people stopped tonight to say how great it looked. One guy rolled down the window of his car: "This is absolutely beautiful" he said. "This is the kind of thing which makes living round here so great".. Yehay!! I told him that next year he should think of something beautitful to do too!
Ah, school carol concerts, advent-y street art... I wish it could be Christmas every day.