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Hart Beat

Children's laughter a true blessing

The sounds of the holidays are never sweeter than when listening to the music of children's laughter. And there is always a lot of nervous laughter when attending the various school winter concerts held this time of year.

I've been privileged to attend two such winter concerts this year, and while both concerts included children to whom I am particularly partial, I believe these concerts were the best I've heard so far this school year.

OK, so the music was not of professional quality and there were a few squeaky spots. Still, I thought the efforts of the young musicians provided a delightful experience for not just me, but for their parents.

I always find the sounds of children playing their shiny, new musical instruments and their singing to be one of the best parts of the holidays.

Can you guess that this past week, I attended the winter concerts of my extremely talented granddaughters? OK, so I'm prejudiced because I think both show an amazing aptitude for music. In that, I, of course, believe they take after my side of the family, actually, me.

A first year music student, Lizz has chosen the saxophone to express her musical talent while her older sister Veronica prefers the clarinet. Veronica, who has played since the fifth grade, is now performing on the high school level and shows no signs of putting away her chosen instrument.

I hope she continues to learn new music and perform both for herself and for others. I think she is a great example for her younger cousins, as well as her sister Lizz.

Lizz is already learning to master her music and shows signs of becoming a real performer, even though she only started playing in September.

Her Chief Kamiakin Elementary School fifth grade band has only been performing together for a few short months, under the excellent and patient tutelage of Scott Waywell. Under his direction, some of the youngsters have already gained enough confidence to stand for a number of solos. To be chosen for a solo required additional practice and those young musicians gave it their all. Lizz had one of those and I was so proud of her. I had to blink back tears.

Veronica's band, under the direction of Mabton High School music instructor Jen LeRose, also presented an excellent evening of well executed music. For a really small band, the young musicians showed the dedication they gave to learning the pieces for the public presentation this past Thursday night. They performed a number of pieces with which I was unfamiliar, but under LeRose's direction, the high school band performed them quite well and I hope I hear them again. Their families are all very proud of their efforts and more than just myself, could be seen wiping away moistness from their faces.

The youngest member of my clan of grandchildren hasn't yet picked up an instrument. After all, he is only 4, but of the trio of wonderful grandchildren, he shows signs of being the real singer in the family. Our happy little Sam is always singing some song. His pre-school doesn't do a musical program for the 4-year-olds, but in my humble, biased opinion, he is very musical. He loves singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas. He also enjoys singing along with his family and sometimes we have to remind him to pipe down a bit. Don't know where he gets that tendency from, the little show-off.

I know that I can look forward to many years of listening to the grandbabies singing and their laughter every day, and for that I count my blessings every day and especially during the holidays.

Merry Christmas to you and your little angels. Give them a hug for me, while I hug mine.

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