My Whim is Law

…where a single parent in Portland still believes that wishing will make it so…

Sun Richter makes her professional debut…

…and it was a knock-out of an evening to be sure!

We have photos of Sun with Esperanza Spalding (the event’s headliner) & Hailey Niswanger, both performing as part of the American Music Program benefit concert at the Gerding Theater last Sunday evening. She even had her very first request for an autograph after the show!

But don’t believe what this oh-so-biased mother of the baby diva might say – instead, noted local photographer John Rudoff captured the event for Oregon Music News. And yep, he brought tears to my eyes with this description of Sun:

…and the diminutive Sun Richter, whose immense voice far outweighs her, stunned the audience with her blues. (“Punching above her weight” is a phrase coined for her.)

(Do click through to the OMNews article to see the rest of John’s gorgeous photography, along with his recap of the event itself…)

Not enough for you? Still need more proof? Well, this commenter on local blogger Jack Bogdanski’s post (thanks, Jack!) about the diva’s debut had this to say:

I was lucky enough to have a front row seat. Sun was fantastic. Poised and sassy.

(Damn, I knew I should have sprung for up-close tickets…!)

Of course, I had to put John’s photos into a Flickr gallery of my own.

Now do you understand why I’ve turned into such a #stagemom lately?

And I’m betting I’ll be writing posts like this one a few times more before I’m done…

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Apparently My Hair ‘Looked Mahvelous!’

I got dragged to another kid event last Friday night. It was fairly uneventful, as middle school events on a Friday night go.

#SheTeen was up on stage doing her thing – and two of her girlfriends from last year (both now in high school) came by to help support the school & check up on their former classmates.

One of the girls made a point of saying hello to me – and then went back to chattering away magpie-style with the rest of the clump of girls after the performance.

And I didn’t think anything more of it until earlier today, when #SheTeen recounted their conversation:

C: Hey, I saw your Mom earlier!

ST: Did you notice anything different about her since the last time you saw her?

(Whoa – SheTeen soliciting feedback about my appearance from her friends? The same appearance where I constantly hear about just how ugly my clothing choices are, what rotten taste I have, and/or complaints about the lack of color I use? Has hell frozen over or what…?)

C & B: Yeah, her hair was a lot better than it used to be. And she’s a lot smaller than she used to be. She looked awesome!

At this point in the recounting of the conversation, #SheTeen looks at me as if to say “well, you ought to know that I’m never going to say anything positive about how you look myself – ’cause it’ll just go to your head and/or make you tell me stuff I just don’t really care about.”

But maybe – just maybe – she’s just a teeny tiny bit proud of what her mom’s done. (As evidenced by the whole ‘soliciting feedback’ bit…)

In true teenage girl fashion, though – you have to note what came first.

Because it’s of the Utmost Importance to focus first on what your hair looks like, don’t you know…!

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We’re in Monterey!

We made it to Monterey yesterday afternoon! And by we, I mean 12 of the band members in the American Music Program’s Pacific Crest Orchestra, competing as one of five finalists in the Conglomerate Big Band division at 9:30 am on Sunday. And the 6 of us adults serving as chaperones/taxi service/roadies, that is.

(The performance will be live-streamed on Sunday; will share the link later for those interested Link now here for the serra ballroom; PCrest is performing Sun at 9:30.)

I’ll have all kinds of stories in detail, but for now, some quick hits:

  • Yes, the weather is much MUCH nicer than it is right now in Portland. I’ll try not to gloat too much…
  • I’d forgotten almost all of the good things I loved about living in the Bay Area.
  • SheTeen: “i love it here! I want to move here!”

Of course, I’m updating regularly on Twitter (photos as well) – follow along with this hashtag: #whimonterey.

…more later…

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Me? I’m just #SheTeen’s roadie these days…

Getting out of the house each weekday morning has taken on a new dimension – and Wednesday morning is by far the most challenging day. Why? My budding musical prodigy #SheTeen has several different projects in the works… practices to attend… and yet another musical passion unfolding – and they all converge on Wednesdays.

We loaded 7 different items in the car this morning:

  • Her laptop – used to help store files/produce her 8th grade capstone music video she works on during school on Wednesdays
  • Her new amp – used 3x a week for both jazz band rehearsal & now music video
  • The older mixer – used now for the music video only (new amp handles needs for jazz band vocals)
  • A ukelele – her latest musical passion. I ‘bought’ it from a friend of mine for, as #SheTeen put it “3 beers and a promise” (where the promise was to actually do something with it). In the 2 weeks she’s owned it? She’s learned 8 songs (one an original composition w/vocals), incorporated it into her music video, recorded video for YouTube, used as part of her audition for the school talent show, and performed w/it at our synagogue’s Purim carnival. Plus, it’s now going to school with her most days. When #SheTeen gets obsessed with something, well…it’s An Obsession.
  • Her mic set – handed down from my friend Robert (thank you!), this travels with her for both jazz band rehearsal & music video production, and has been utilized to also do her at-home YouTube video production work.
  • Her music bag – this cloth bag has her binder full of sheet music (all carefully stored in plastic protective sheets) for her daily choir class, jazz band & the upcoming music she’ll need as part of the all-city middle school Honors Choir. (Yay! #MomTaxi gears up for this next Monday evening, in fact…)
  • Her purse – among other things, this has a pack of Chloraseptic lozenges, nuts & protein bars, and a ton of detritus I’d just rather not know about…
  • And oh, yeah – her backpack for school. The 25-lb behemoth that’s stuffed to the gills and just might break a toe should it accidentally drop on your foot.

Yes, she straps most of this around her shoulders, whether cross-body, over one shoulder, or on her back (in the case of the backpack. (Her dad has a great picture of this up on Facebook, in fact.) Yep, it’s quite the sight to see her try to manage it all* (especially since she weighs all of 110 lbs herself.) No, she won’t let me help her with dragging any of it into school. Until today.

The addition of the new amp made this much more than one single determined 13-year-old who would sooner die than be seen in public with her MO-ther at Schooooool could handle on her own.

(Funny how she doesn’t much mind me helping her haul it out to the car from our house, or from jazz band rehearsal to the car in the evenings…)

So I get to add another job title to my ever-expanding list these days (#StageMama, #MomTaxi, The Meanest Mother in the Whole Wide World, the Primary Funder of All Things Musical/Non-Musical, Nutrition Counselor, Undesirable Chaperone and, finally, the Homework Haranguer and general annoying Pain In the Ass parent):


Good thing I’m working double-time on those strength training routines, no?

In the meantime (since I’m clearly persona-non-grata at school) – yes, I’m also looking into better packing/traveling options for her of the rolling/wheeled variety.

Posted in Bossing the Kids, Drama Mama | Leave a comment

#SheTeen’s going to California! *

Well, just because I haven’t been talking much about #jazzband doesn’t mean we haven’t been sucked wholesale into All Things Jazzband these days. The Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra has been appearing at a few local concerts here and there, while I continue to play the role of annoying over-enthusiastic parent cheerleader & hanger-on (according to #SheTeen, anyway). But their next opportunity? Well, it’s a killer one – & IMHO, warrants a bit more enthusiasm than I’ve been permitted to display publicly about ATJB lately.

Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival

We learned last night that the group is one of either 12 or 6 (depending on the category they’re competing in) groups who made it through the recorded audition application process to move into a spot as a finalist for the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey in late March of this year. Yes, that Monterey. As in Monterey, California. The home of the major honkin’ jazz festival in September.

Details are still sketchy, pending a parent meeting next week to talk about logistics, timelines and expenses. But I can tell you this – while Randy Jackson may love to crow the whole ‘you’re going to HOLLLLYWOOOOOD!’, well – we’ll definitely take Monterey over Hollywood any time.

Wouldn’t you?

* and as her official #stagemama/chaperone, am betting I’m going as well…!

Posted in Drama Mama | Tagged , , | 1 Comment
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