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20 March 2006

Port Allegany

Well, here it is, the moment you've been waiting for. The announcement of the results of Region II Choir at Port Allegany.

But first I must digress: While carpooling there, my director (who is originally from the Pittsburgh area) kept complaining about how they spell the name of their town. She was thoroughly discomfited with the fact that they chose to spell it "Allegany" and not "Allegheny," which she asserts is the only correct spelling. But in New York state it has historically been spelled without the "Allegany," and here's proof. For some reason unknown to historians, the "Allegany" spelling became the standard in 1840, soon after the town was renamed from Keating. Okay then. This reminds me of Laurel's "fairy vs. faery" post.

Looking at the Allegheny river in town, though, you'd think it wasn't the same river as the one that goes through Pittsburgh. Only a few feet deep at this point, it was apparently the point at which the river became to shallow for Indians to navigate, so they had to "portage" to another river. Hence the name. Wow.

But as I said...yeah...the moment you've been waiting for; I shall keep you in suspense no longer. I completely astounded myself when I found out that I got third chair and that I'm going to States! It's so very happy. I even ate a Philadelphia cheesesteak at lunch today to celebrate. It wasn't very good, but hey, I'm not in Philly yet, so what could I expect?

Actually, States are held at a bunch of schools (and one hotel) in the Valley Forge area. I'll be auditioned on Wednesday 29 March at Arcola Intermediate School in Eagleville (Montgomery County). Then I stay at the Hilton Valley Forge hotel in King of Prussia (Montgomery County). Rehearsals for the All-State Choir are at Springfield High School in Springfield (Delaware County). The concert is on Saturday 01 April at North Penn High School in Lansdale (Montgomery County). Similar arrangements are made for the All-State Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band, and Vocal Jazz Ensemble. All in all, eight different venues in the area are used to host the ensembles, to say nothing of the concurrent conference that all the directors attend.

Now you might be saying, "Whoa! States just a week and a half after Regions? How does that work?" Well, I'll tell you. States was actually slated for 19-22 April, but the National Association for Music Education (MENC) decided that they had to have their national conference in Salt Lake City on those exact dates, so they made the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) move up States.

PMEA usually rotates the order of its District and Region festivals. This year, it was supposed to be Region Choir 15-18 February, Region Band 01-04 March, and Region Orchestra 15-18 March (at least I think that's what it was), with the corresponding District festivals six weeks earlier. Well, when States had to be moved up to 29 March-01 April, just two weeks after the last Region festival, PMEA decided that the choir kids could learn music much faster than band or orchestra kids, so they completely reversed the order of the festivals. Of course, this was well before the school year started, but still, it makes it difficult for us choir kids. At least everyone else is in the same boat. Yay, politics.

So, I've had my music since Friday, and I glanced through it Sunday and read through most of the pieces today. Unfortunately, since I'm going to Florida Wednesday through next Monday, I will have to take my music with me and practice just about wherever I go; I can't afford not to. Then I'm in school for one day, and I'm off to Philly with Mr. Dearbeck, the band director, because Miss Rose can't go, being tied up with our school musical, Guys and Dolls. Plus, a 23-year-old female teacher driving an 18-year-old male student seven hours across the entire state...yeah, you can see why the school district wants to avoid that, not that anything would ever happen.

Oy. So now I'm missing even more school. The marking period ends on 03 April, conveniently the day I get back from States. So, I'm looking into taking a couple of incomplete grades on my report card to give me the time that I know I'll need to catch up on my work. And I've already filed for an extension on my senior graduation project. I'll get it all done, it's just a matter of when.

So, enough blogging. I've got work to do!

4 comments:

art said...

congratulations, tj! i was planning on reading the post with an overly-tense anticipation... but i accidentally glanced at the sidebar before i read it. dang... and good luck with school... i know what it's like missing a ton and coming back to a full plate. best of luck all around!

also, isn't states usually in hershey? that's just what i hear from my choir director.

Lexi Elizabeth said...

woah states. that's exciting. no one from our school made states, but that's because they got their music on monday, after the musical. no one expected them to make it past regionals. oh well.

TJ said...

"Art," States rotates its location. Two years ago it was in the Erie area, last year it was somewhere in the middle of the state (I don't remember), and this year it's in Philly. Next year I'd anticipate Pittsburgh-area, but I don't make those calls, so...

And thanks for all the congrats...

Lexi Elizabeth said...

"Looking at the Allegheny river in town, though, you'd think it wasn't the same river as the one that goes through Pittsburgh. Only a few feet deep at this point, it was apparently the point at which the river became to shallow for Indians to navigate, so they had to "portage" to another river. Hence the name. Wow."

-Did you know that the rivers in Pittsburgh used to be really wide and only a few feet deep? The only reason the rivers are the way they are now is from dams. We learned that in...one of my classes the other day.

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