Monday, February 05, 2007


Last Tuesday, in the midst of my not-posting, TinyTuna was performed in the 10th annual 7th-8th grade choir EXTRAVAGANZA which is a very CAPS LOCK, leaned over and bold sort of event. It was a vocal variety show sort of deal, with the choir singing some numbers, and kids (who auditioned and were prepared) performing solos, duets, trios and the like. Most kids opted for the safety in numbers approach and did duets, trios and quartets. The heavy favorites were upbeat retro pop songs like The Shoop Shoop Song and The Lion Sleeps Tonight; a smattering of Disney and a show tune here or there.

It was amazing to see the huge variety of "looks" of 12-14 year olds. One boy walked onstage in a tux shirt and bow tie. He was really short and small, and just hadn't hit that middle school growth spurt yet. But you know, as soon as he opened his mouth and started singing, "L! Is for the way you look at me! O! Is for the very one you see..." we giggled just a little because he sang in this very smooth (and much older sounding) baritone crooner style voice. Given a little time for his height to match his voice, he might be the start of the new Rat Pack. Right now though I guess he's more like the Mouse Pack.

Another girl walked on stage and my eyes just about fell out of my head. She was stunning: tall, lanky, and beautifully put together. I never looked that good in middle school. Or high school. OK, face it. I don't look that good now. The next day I told TinyTuna I couldn't believe this girl was only in 8th grade. "She's not," TinyTuna said. "AHA!! I KNEW IT," says I, smugly. "She's a 7th grader." Sheesh. I thought it was time to crawl back under my rock.

TinyTuna's contribution to the EXTRAVAGANZA was the zippy quick Red Riding Hood song from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim, which, sadly for her choir teacher who was also the accompanist, is hard as nails to play. It's no picnic for the singer either, but that didn't seem to phase TinyTuna at all. They were required to perform it with the teacher in front of the class prior to EXTRAVAGANZA to be sure they had it memorized and were prepared. Every day TinyTuna came home, not having sung her piece, for a variety of reasons. Ran out of time. Teacher was gone. It was a sunny day. Who knows. Finally the day arrived. The Teacher was in the school. Students were going to do their acts for the entire class period. I asked TinyTuna that night if she got to sing her song. "Nope," she said. "She still hasn't learned the key change."
They finally rehearsed her song the day of performance. Did TinyTuna care? Nope. Was she nervous? Nope. Did she do a good job? Yep. Was I surprised? Nope. Was I proud? You betcha.

The next day during school, they did a shortened version for the entire school. The choir sang their numbers again, and out of 25 individual acts, 7 were allowed to perform. Most of them were 8th graders, as this would be their last year. However, one 7th grade soloist made the cut, and Little Red Riding Hood rode again, key change and all. Shoop Shoop!

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