Posted: Sunday, September 4, 2011 2:49:50 PM
Nancy is directing and playing the piano. For 40 short minutes, each student is part of a team. They are all active members and they are all required to give full participation. Each student knows they must perform well because their test is not a multiple-choice or essay test. Their test is a concert. At this concert, 800 faces or more will be on them. The audience expects perfection—it’s something they know they will receive.
Motivation and passion are two things this lady encapsulates. She uses a Kleenex to emulate a penalty flag in her all-boys choir. She assigns three boys the role of referee and at each infraction (a lack of acting, poor diction, etc.), the referees are instructed to throw the Kleenex penalty flag. The referees are holding their classmates accountable; their classmates are working hard not to penalize the team. The next day, Nancy repeats the rehearsal. And this time it’s the all girls class and instead of a penalty flag, she starts out asking the girls about their weekends. And then, another downbeat is given…
The community knows about the greatness of the Arrowhead Union choir department; this shows in packed houses, where people stand in line an hour before, just to get a front-row seat. While community members stand in line, waiting for their prized seat, they are entertained with a visual exhibit. The display case in the foyer changes with the seasons. During the holiday months, there are candles, children’s books and holly. Before the musical, there are professional headshots and posters. Stars hang from the ceiling, a banner is overhead. The decorations are one small Nancy does to welcome the community into Arrowhead Union High School and warmly invite people to stay awhile and enjoy the music.
I’ll often stop down in the choir room to visit. There is always an abundance of food, laughs and music. Often times, there is a student on the piano in the hallway; another is playing Beethoven in the choir room. Another student is helping hang a new poster. In every aspect of her career, my mom has motivated and inspired students to continue to perfect their craft and help out their teammates. She has also inspired me to be a teacher. Thank you, Mom!