Friday, March 18, 2016

Leopards Take Broadway

What a choir season we had this year! A rush of amazing music and intense work to bring to pass our spring concert: Leopards Take Broadway!

From the first Friday in January to the concert on March 18, the kids worked hard after school on Fridays and Tuesdays at lunch with our individual soloist and group features practice. I couldn't have done it without my mom's help taking the kids one at a time to hit all their pitches on solos while I scoured the playground looking for unsuspecting choir victims! 

 The announcers worked together learning a little dialogue for each song telling something we had to do to get on Broadway, including...
1. Getting up early (because Broadway is all the way across the country), so we sang "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma
2. Working Hard, so we sang "It's the Hard-Knock Life" from Annie
3. Getting a great sidekick, so we recited "The Naming of Cats" from Cats

(Those songs were sung by my 41 Cubs, the K-2nd grade singers... 
...after which my 30 Prowlers, the 3rd-6th grade singers, joined in)

4. Getting a great costume, so we sang "Masquerade" from The Phantom of the Opera

5. Leaning how to sing, so we sang "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound of Music
6. Attempting the impossible, so we sang "Defying Gravity" from Wicked

(Time for intermission... the Cubs joined the audience and the Prowlers took the stage for their set... )
7. Having a great imagination, so we sang "Castle on a Cloud" from Les Miserables
8. Getting rich! So we sang "If I Were a Rich Man" from The Fiddler on the Roof
9. Loving every bit of what we do, so we sang "Seasons of Love" from Rent


So... It's one of those things that sounded like a great idea at first: a collection of Broadway songs, each representing something that you have to do to get on Broadway...but then you start to realize that every Broadway song is difficult in its own way. I mean, these are songs written for professional performers with decades of experience, so why not have my kindergartners learn it???  Hmmm....

And most of the sheet music is written as orchestral adaptations or for Piano/Vocal/guitar. In order to cover the difficult music, I had to recruit a team of pianists: Mom and Brooke (with adorable assistant Alex). They were a dream team of piano talent and page turning (the longest song checking in at over 20 pages, not to mention the repeats, codas, and alterations made).
In spite of all that, everything turned out well enough. I'm always so impressed with the drive and determination of the kids to get everything learned. And I think the great thing about this experience was seeing the kids learn excellent music and having the kids and their parents enjoying the music together. I'm glad we all had a chance to learn together.

We had a good time and made great memories... but would I do this program again with K-6 singers? Don't count on it...

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lucky Trails to you!

This St. Patrick's Day was filled with fun ups and downs.  Some things were great; some things left a lot to be desired, but mixing in those ups and downs made for a more memorable day (I think...)

On the down side, there were no Lucky Charms for breakfast. The Leprechauns had been too busy getting ready for the Leopard Choir concert and forgot to bring them around for breakfast...

On the up side, Dawna had a field trip first thing in the morning. I got to go along as a chaperone this time and we had a lot of fun going to... the Dump!

(Well, technically called the Waste Transfer Station). The Transfer Station sent us a bus to ride which was super cool! Cushy seats, foot rests, and real laminate flooring! In the classroom there, we learned about the four R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot. And we got to take a tour of the place, complete with safety gear!
 We got a peek at a HUGE bulldozer that pushed tons (not hyperbolic tons, actual tons) of garbage around!
 I haven't been able to throw away a Ziploc bag since then...grr...

But then, back on the down side, Dawna had an orthodontist appointment right after school, which usually isn't all that bad, but for some reason, they were really behind or forgot about us or something, so we were sitting in the office for over half an hour for our 2-minute appointment. The kids came up with a fun game involving chasing "dots"--sunlight reflected off our watches-- around the ceiling or racing to hit a particular letter on spot on the wall.

But then on the up side, the Leprechauns left a great treasure hunt for the kids when we arrived home: "Hats off to the Kobersteins for planning a great vacation!"
(It's kind of a long video...taken mostly for the benefit of Jon... since the kids would NOT wait until he came home from work to do the treasure hunt...)

The kids followed clues on leprechaun hats until they each found their very own suitcase to take on our upcoming spring break vacation!

I'm hoping they're brightly colored enough to be easily spotted on the baggage claim carousel :)

But then on the down side, dinner was kind of a disaster... because I went on the field trip early in the morning, I didn't get the corned beef in the crock pot until much too late... which means it turned out as the worst corned beef and cabbage I've ever made... the meat was chewy, the veggies soggy and over salted...

But on the up side, by dinnertime, the Leprechauns had brought the Lucky Charms that were missing at breakfast, so much of dinner was magically delicious anyway :)

I think overall, through all the ups and downs of this St. Patrick's Day, we came out on top!


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Kobersteinville Newspaper, Issue #003

Dawna, being inspired by the American Girl Kit Kittredge, has enjoyed writing a "Kobersteinville Newspaper" from time to time. Here's today's issue (some of which has been covered on previous posts, some of which is covered exclusively in the newspaper):


Kobersteinville Newspaper

Let It Rain!

Rain has been pouring down on Kobersteinville these past few days. The wonderful rain will hopefully continue next Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Thankfully, Mom purchased two new umbrellas at Costco and Liz Tuitama brought us two fine rain jackets to use. Larry passed down his shark boots to Xochitl and uses his new snow boots in the rain. The duck puddle on the west side of the house is full and ready for some stompin’, splashin’ fun! Get on those rain boots and coats and open up those umbrellas to enjoy the rain!

Kobersteins Sweep Young Authors’ Contest!
    Dawna Koberstein, Naomi Koberstein, and Lawrence Koberstein all placed in the Lincoln Elementary Young Authors Contest! Dawna won 1st place in the fourth grade category. Naomi won 1st place in the kindergarten age group, and Lawrence took home 2nd place for the second graders. These winners worked hard and we would like to congratulate them for their hard work.  Their books are available for checkout at the Lincoln Elementary School Library or the Newark public library. Or, write in to the editor to schedule an in-person reading from the award-winning authors of Kobersteinville!

Snow is Falling

Dawna, Larry, and Dad went snow camping last Friday and came back on Saturday.They had so much fun! They made a snowman together after sleeping in a well made snow cave. Snow angels were abundant in the morning. They also got very cold and wet. Luckily, Dad thought ahead and had them bring extra dry clothes to stay warm. It was a long drive and a long night of snowfall, which made for some long lasting memories of love.


Scripture Reading

    Kobersteinville has begun a new tradition for scripture reading.  Each morning at precisely 7:45, one lucky Kobersteinville kid chooses a picture from the newly completed Gospel Art Kit. All enjoy a reading of the scripture story and talking about the picture. So far Kobersteinville has read scriptures each day in the month of March. We have been doing a pretty good job. Keep it up!
We had a fun time delivering the newspaper to Nana and Papa :) Thanks for the news, Dawna!

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