Samuel Report


I know this subject is not of the moment to the world at large, but to the small coterie of readers I'm privileged to call friends, this will be important because it occupies a major part of my world at present.

In recent days Samuel has been involved in several matters musical. To start with, a few weeks back he went for his Royal Conservatory exam--this consisted of playing three different pieces of music (surrounded by all sorts of incomprehensible criteria), several pentascales identified only by their key (C major, A minor, G major, etc.), listening and playing back a melody played by the examiner, clapping out a rhythm played by the examiner, and perhaps a few other things I'm not recording here.

Last week we received the results of that exam--1st class honors with Highest Distinction. We haven't received back the full exam commentary yet, but I'm looking forward to it. It will have some places to coach Samuel and help him to improve playing.

At the same time, he's begun to compose short pieces and even notate the compositions. Naturally, they are short and at this point a little repetitive, but he's learn the style of elaboration and development that will foster a full-fledged ability to compose (I hope).

More--he was in four different dances in the dance recital this weekend. This was his first experience with multi-performances as two of the dances were repeated on the second day of the recital. In each of these (his tap and ballet), he was a featured performer because boys are so rare in dance classes. On the first day he performed his tap, his acro, and his ballet. Between the tap and acro he even had a quick-change (only two dances between them). On the second day he performed his Jazz, his ballet and his tap, the performance occurring at the very beginning, approximately in the middle, and at the very end. Samuel is a very charismatic performer and really engages audience attention. He had literally dozens of people come up to him and tell him after each show how well he did. And he did do very well.

The stage is much larger than the usual performance area they practice in. As a result to get to center stage in the same number of steps at the same count as he would do in the usual space he had to take exaggeratedly large steps. It was both hilarious and charming. In both tap and ballet he was playing the center of interest of a bevy of young ladies. The songs--"Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" and "Build me Up, Buttercup." The performances went off without a hitch despite disastrous rehearsals and every dancer did his or her very best. It was remarkable to see that much talent in so small a physical and temporal space. The shame of it is that so little of that ability will ever be shared beyond a very small circle. It is my sincere hope that it is not so with Samuel. Nevertheless, whatever may ensue, for now it is the stuff of great memories and tremendous fatherly pride.

I have been so richly blessed by this young person.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 4, 2007 7:18 AM.

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