The curse of The Live Concert continues. This was confirmed when Lower Sackville's 9:00 Band performed Feb. 23 at the Birch Cove Baptist Church. I was unable to attend so Lydia assumed videographer duties - something I usually do. Because of this, I learned that the curse is not confined to me!
What is the curse? Quite simply it's the inability to obtain any decent film record of Sylvia and Mitchell performing on stage. It doesn't matter where we sit, our view is invariably blocked.
In the early days of attending school performances we realized the value of early arrival. Those showing up a few minutes before the start of a concert were relegated to the back making it impossible to get non-grainy shots and the backs of heads.
Arriving early seemed to be the answer. Surely, with a choice of seats we couldn't fail to get decent footage, right? Unfortunately, we didn't bargain on other obstructions.
Over the years we have amassed an extensive library of footage showing the backsides of different band conductors. Occasionally, if they shift or lift their arm a certain way, we are rewarded with a fleeting glimpse of one of our kids. (A joyous gasp on the audio usually accompanies such a moment.)
If it's not the conductor it's the music stands. Perfectly clear lines-of-sight are foiled by their placement. The black bar of metal acts like a hyperactive censor. Instead of a shot of Mitchell or Sylvia's face we end up with a sliver of forehead and some hair!
This time, Lydia was certain she had solved the problem. WIthout me to complain, she arrived even earlier than usual. She then staked out the church and found an ideal spot. Mitchell would be sitting near the end of a row only a few feet away with Sylvia on the opposite side. It would be perfect!
Pleased with her choice, Lydia sat down, set up the camera, and prepared to wait, certain that she would succeed where I had failed.
Then the curse reared its head.
With a shortage of trumpet players, one of the Sackville Community Band members kindly agreed to play with the 9:00 Band. The conductor advised the trumpet players to shift over and let him sit at the end of the row. This effectively hid Mitchell behind two players.The conductor then took the stage, standing in the precise spot to obscure any view of Sylvia.
Lydia gamely did her best and was rewarded with the odd shot of Mitchell's hand and, at one point, his nose. Sylvia fared slightly better. During the brief periods between songs, the conductor turned to face the audience and, in doing so, Sylvia briefly came into focus.
We had a good laugh as we watched the final video. Not only were the kids well camouflaged but, in between songs, Lydia applauded while still filming creating what looked like a low-budget Irwin Allen disaster flick.
All joking aside, the band did sound fabulous, playing diverse numbers such as the jazzy Zoot Suit Riot and my favourite, Highlights From the Lord of the Rings. I'm looking forward to their next performance, whenever it will be. Maybe by then the curse will have lifted.
Kevin Toal is a freelance writer who offers kudos to the 9:00 Band conductors Katelyn Gillis and Danielle Dove and suggest checking out www.sackvillecommunityband.com for information on the Sackville Community Band and the 9:00 Band.