Saturday, December 6, 2008

Zat you Santa Claus?

Last week, I was asked by the Fairborn Civic Band Director, Gary Johnson, if I would help him with their Winter Concert by playing the snare drum. Gary and I went with the Dayton Philharmonic this summer to sing at Carnegie Hall. We got to spend a lot of time at Central Park together between rehearsals. He was the band and Choir director at Belmont HS in Dayton for many years and we became fast friends. He now started teaching general music in Fairborn and loves it. 

The concert was wonderful!
The arrangements of the carols were done very tastefully, so I enjoyed listening to the music as I played along. 

Then, Gary asked me to be the Santa and enter during the last song to give candy canes to all the audience members.

I arrived a half hour early and met two children who were sitting alone in the back of the auditorium. They were 14 year old Jennifer and 10 year old Peter. I asked them if they were staying to watch a family member perform with the band. They said that they lived across the street and were bored, so they thought they would hear the concert. I asked them if they would mind helping me with my Santa costume. They had marvelous attitudes. They laid the costume out on a table and took the shrink wrap off the candy cane boxes. 

I informed them that, after the song "Frosty the Snowman", to meet me backstage and help me get ready. They were so helpful! Peter asked if he could ring the jingle bells and announce me to the crowd. I thought it was a great idea. 

I came in Ho Ho Ho-ing and gave everyone in the audience a candy cane. After the concert was over, The kids thanked me for allowing them to help. I smiled and pointed to the Santa bag which was still full of extra candy canes and told the that the rest were theirs. They thought I was kidding, but I couldn't have been more serious. 

lesson one, don't ever miss an opportunity to make a positive impact on a child or refuse to help a friend in need.

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