Tonight was Abigail's music program at school. You might wonder about the program's theme when you see its title (seen on the back wall of the gymnasium in the photo above): a music program about using GPS instruments? about cartography and transportation? about joining the Republican Party? "No" to all of those; it was about kids' developing good character traits as they grow older:
"Movin' in the Right Direction! is a vibrant and contemporary 20-minute program designed to help build character and integrity in . . . young singers. Teachers, students, and parents will enjoy the lessons that can be learned through this presentation. The texts reinforce positive concepts and goals" (citation).
We did not know what to expect before arriving for the program. Abigail had withheld all details about it--including the little detail that she had several featured moments in it! After the program, her music teacher came up to us to ask if we were surprised, so even she knew that Abigail had been keeping us in the dark so that we would be amazed when we saw Abigail holding up a sign during one number and speaking lines between two songs and singing harmony in a duet with a classmate during another song! Afterward, Abigail told us that it had been so difficult to keep quiet about everything--that she had had to practice her harmony quietly in her bedroom with the door closed so that we wouldn't know what she was doing. I don't know why she wanted it all to be a secret, but she was certainly dedicated in that regard; and it was very fun to be pleasantly surprised each time she got up to do something during the program.
Abigail had her eye on Susan and me the whole time, intent on seeing whether we were noticing all her featured spots in the program. She even (in violation of everything she has learned about professional stage behavior, mind you) "broke character" to make direct eye contact with us from time to time, raising her eyebrows and jerking her head toward our cameras as though to ask, "Are you capturing this?" Sadly, the batteries in our camcorder died just before Abigail stepped to the microphone for her featured duet, so I can't share with you, Faithful Reader, what Abigail sounded like singing harmony to her partner's melody--but it really was good: clear, strong, in tune, musical, and such a treat for her parents to hear! I was bursting with pride, and my eyes were watering like Pa Ingalls' on Little House on the Prairie.
I will share this highlight with you, though. This is an excerpt from "Step by Step," the song in which Abigail sang the (unrecorded) harmony. Just watch her enthusiasm and commitment when performing the choreography: