Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Band camp was a success. Roger loved every minute of it. The Saturday before camp we went to the location for his audition. The auditions were just for placement in the correct group. This was the only part he was upset about, he had flown in from his vacation with dad (that's a whole other post) at midnight and had me pick him up at 8am the next day. He felt that the lack of sleep affected his performance. During the audition one of the teachers was trying to make a joke. Roger plays tenor sax and one of the teachers plays alto sax. He was joking and saying oh you were demoted to tenor sax. The teacher did it know Roger is autistic, he hadn't been privileged to his medical information yet. Roger just looked at him blankly and asked that's a joke right? The teacher said yes but was a bit confused. They continued the audition and off we went to finish the check in process. Camp ran from 8am to 8pm every day for a week. They had both lunch and dinner there. At 7 everyday there was a concert some by students, some by teachers, and some professionals came and played, with Saturday being the big finale. The first day, they jumped right into the program and roger had a blast. He immediately found a friend who also plays sax although he played alto but they were together most of the day, they split when Roger went to piano and guitar class. Yes he has this need to play every instrument. The rest of the week went well, practice, practice, and practice until your hands fall off to get ready for the concert on Saturday. What needs to be said here is these kids were given the music on Mondays to learn and perform by Saturday. This is the same type of music they would be given at school but have months to prepare and it was multiple songs. I believe Roger had to learn a total of ten songs in a week for both concert band and jazz band. Friday was the sectional concert where each section (violins, sax, flutes, etc.) played by themselves. If they tried to do this on Saturday with the full bands the concert would never end. Saturday was the big day. Roger went in at 2:30 for dress rehersals convert was at 6pm. I must say these kids were nothing short of amazing. They played great. Roger was a little nervous he knew when it came time for the intermediate jazz band to play that he may have a solo. All week long the teacher had been teaching them how jazz is improptu and on the fly. Every kid knew there was a chance they would be called on to play a solo and they had to make it up then, they wouldn't know before hand. Now if you want to see Roger with no anxiety and most of his tics disappear, put him on a stage with his sax. There was no anxiety, he was expected and allowed to be in his own world, just like every other kid up there. They were all paying attention to the conductor and their music nothing else. When jazz band came up they played three songs. During the second song the teacher called on Roger to do a solo. He stood right up and did it. No fear, no anxiety, no tics, until he sat down and it hit him what he had just done and that all the clapping, screaming and people on their feet were for him. Then he had to shake it off a bit but he kept playing. No one at the camp treated him any differently than anyone else all week, to them he was another music student. They knew he needed a little extra help at times but never made it obvious to the other students. Even the other students treated him just like everyone else. At band camp he was one of them not the weird kid like he is at school. What's next: Roger will be returning to camp again next year. He also now has a audition with the youth symphony in September. His ultimate goal for now is to get a music scholarship for college. Oh and he wants me to buy him a piano. I'll get right on that.