182 stringed instruments. Some of them had only been played for a mere 6 weeks. My expectations were low. Sweet Marissa told me they sounded "AWESOME" at their rehearsal, but this coming from the mouth of an ever hyperbolic tween, I couldn't help but think of that saying "like cats in a roomful of rocking chairs." 182 of them in fact.
See, every three or four years our school system's wonderful strings instructor, the ever patient and long-suffering Mrs. Haverdink, takes on a feat of mammoth proportions. She teaches the elementary strings, middle school, all the way on up to high school, a selection which the kids perform in one mass orchestra event. This year they performed Orpheus in the Underworld - Finale by Jacques Offenbach, AKA "the Can-Can."
To answer your question, yes, they can do the can-can, and they did. It was wonderful. Beautiful. I got all teary-eyed. Unexpectedly. Maybe it was seeing our girl sitting next to those high school students and knowing that would be her in a few short years. Maybe it was Maren's visible "spine tingle" and look of amazement she got on that big crescendo. Maybe it was because the Captain was home. Maybe I'm just happy to be part of a school system that takes their music as seriously as their sports.
Whatever it might have been, I know the elementary kids and their families were free to leave after the first number, but we didn't. We stayed and listened to the String Orchestra, the Full Orchestra and the Jazz Band ( who, by the way, just finished first in districts and are now on their way to state). It was an unexpected treat. Like a 44 degree day in NW Iowa in the middle of February - yup, got one of those too.
So, here's a little Offenbach for you. Just to get good and stuck in your head for the next few days or so. Marissa has been practicing since late fall. I know about these things. Enjoy!