Saturday, August 7, 2010


It's been quite a week. We had all our usual commitments—band, art, tennis, friends, dog walking, music lessons, meal making/eating, sleeping, playing, and homeschool learning—plus one massive rehearsal and concert on Thursday night.

Every year, for the last four years, my husband has organised and put on a concert featuring over 100 kids from all around the area, playing in a Megaband with a featured artist. The first two years they played jazz with James Morrison. The next year they played funk with Fred Wesley (former sideman of James Brown), and this year they played latin music with a Sydney salsa band called Mucho Mambo.

This year more than 120 kids registered for the Megaband. My husband woke up early, morning after morning, week after week, to arrange the music, create the scores, organise the venue, get t-shirts printed, organise posters, tickets, registration, manage the website, etc etc. His work hours were long and full. Yes, he was helped, but a lot (most) rested on him getting the job done. We haven't see him much and one morning this week, I heard him go down the driveway at 4.47am.

I don't know how he did it. It was a huge task. I often get overwhelmed by my day, sometimes daily. The responsibility of being a parent and "learning facilitator" all day, every day, plus the getting to and from places on time, plus the making of meals (sometimes so daunting!!) and the keeping happy—it can be exhausting. Beautiful but exhausting.

But then, when I think about it for even a short time, I actually do know how my husband did it. He is passionate about music, passionate about education. He's an inspiring teacher and you can tell he pours his whole heart into it. He isn't paid much, but it's the only thing he can imagine doing. He loves, with all his heart, what he does. That's how he does it. As stressful as it is. And the kids (and their parents, and the community) love him for it.

And he is inspiring to me. Because I think, well, if he can do that, then I can do what I do, too. Because his passion is infectious and because he never says, "I give up." Because I, too, can't imagine doing anything else. And because it is incredible, the learning journey—the learning of your children, the learning of young people who are so vibrant, quick, and real, and the learning you do yourself as you travel through your days.

He (and the kids!) pulled it off. The concert. They had a day to rehearse 5 charts. The kids ranged in age from 9 to 19. Some were total beginners, and some were seasoned performers. My husband had arranged different charts for every instrument and every ability. Every child was challenged and excited and after the show, exhillarated beyond belief.

It was an amazing night. It was inspirational.

blurry rehearsal,

blurry dancing!

(The night was a family affair—

My husband led the band.

My son played percussion in the band.

I designed the shirt that 120 kids wore.

My girl got to wear the band shirt, because Daddy promised she could.

My mother drove 1 1/2 hours to come watch.

And my professional salsa-dancing sister came (driving 2 1/2 hours) to dance,
and encourage the audience to get up and move. Which they did, with gusto!)


  1. Thank you for all your support. I love you very, very mucho!

  2. Wow, what an awesome night Helena, and an awesome DH, I can't wait till you come up and visit us. I so, so wish we could live closer. Your enthusiasm is wonderful.


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