All day Friday, the students were rehearsing with the honor band, mass band, and mass choir. All of the students from all of the schools got together to form these groups. Each group worked with a director to prepare for a concert that would be held on Saturday night. Students had to audition to get a seat on the honor band.Any student could be in the mass band. They had a wide spread of ability ranges. Some kids could hardly get a note out while other could have easily made it into honor band.
All the choir students were in the same group, just called the choir. Their director was the same person who judged their solos and ensembles the previous day. She worked so hard with them and they really liked here alot. About half of my girls were in choir and the other half in band. I spent alot of time watching the choir practice. For some reason, I am drawn to voices more than instruments. Maybe its the human connection, I dont know, but I was really looking forward to hearing this group perform on Saturday night.
After lunch, when the kids went back to rehearsals, a couple of the other chaperones and I left the school for a walk. Kotzebue has an amazing school. The high school and elementary were remodeled about 4/5 years ago. They connected the two buildings with a brand new junior high. The is the high school side.
We walked down to the Kotzebue Art Center to see some native arts and crafts.
Here are statues made of bone and ivory depicting people ice fishing. The one with the spear might be seal hunting.
This is made of bone and antler. This is most likely meant to look like a caribou.
Here is an eskimo person made from the hoof of an animal. Either a moose or caribou.
Another face made of bone.
Many faces made of bone, feather, and hair from various animals.
I think these are made of ivory, driftwood, and antler. The one to the right is a beluga whale. I had the opportunity to try beluga when I first moved here. It is very rubbery in texture and takes a long time to chew.
Here are some baskets woven from native grasses.
Some more statues of people manaqing (ice fishing). Also some statues of the fish themselves and a painting of a goose and picture of musk oxen in the background. The are the things that native people hold dear. These are the life support of the people....the animals. The fish, birds, large game...it keeps them alive and provides them with warmth.
I still cant figure out how to get pictures to rotate on the blog. These faces are made from the bladders of animals (i think) and hair from various animals.
More eskimo faces. The people of this region are Inupiaq indians, not Yup'ik like the native people here in Bethel. There crafts are a bit different.
On the way back to the school, we walked down Shore Ave again. The day was much clearer and you could see the hills on the shore across the sea. These twigs stuck into the ice mark the trail over to the other side. You can see that the trail is pretty heavily worn.
That night, the kids went back to rehearsals again and had an opportunity to chat with the Alaska Brass guys. After a day of continuous practice, everyone was pretty tired. 11pm in your rooms and midnight lights out times were enforced by the chaperones from all the schools, but I couldnt sleep. My body was sick of sleeping on the hard floor already. I stayed up reading and occasionally peeking out the windows for any glimpse of the aurora. Still nothing.
All in all the atmosphere is contagious. People irrupting in song, spontaneous jam sessions in the hallways, shining instruments abound, sheet music scattered here and there...it makes me wish I would have never quit playing my sax when I was in high school. I going to put learn how to play an instrument on my life's list of things to do.
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