Archive for March, 2014

First Week on Stage Collage

This has been a very busy, but very good week for the Prairie Family.  Fiddler on the Roof rehearsals are now going full steam ahead, and with two weeks until the performances, things are coming together pretty well over all.

Probably the biggest news of the week is that Luke has a new role!  The guy that had been playing the part of Mendel, the rabbi’s son, is not going to be able to be at the performances, so the director asked us if Luke could take the part.  Of course, Luke was thrilled!  He has several lines to learn, but I know he’ll pick them up quickly.

Another interesting event of the week was that Dan helped with a promo radio interview along with the two lead characters. I didn’t get to hear it, but I heard that it was a good spot.

On Thursday evening, our pianist could not be at the rehearsal, so I got to relive my accompanist days and fill in for that practice.  Boy, that made me miss accompanying!  I don’t know if I have ever mentioned on this blog that before I was married and had kids, I spent several years working at the local public school as the accompanist.  Those were good days that I loved immensely.  So, I enjoyed being able to fill in for this practice–great fun!

The next two weeks will be full of rehearsals.  It also looks like Dan and I will be taking a quick trip to Colorado Springs sometime next week to pick up some costumes from the theater that performed Fiddler on the Roof last spring. So things will move right along here until the performances on April 12 and 13.

I did want to mention that tickets for the show are now available.  The performances will be at the CCC Cultural Arts Center Theater on Saturday, April 12, at 7:00 pm and Sunday, April 13, at 2:00 pm.  Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children–which I think is an amazing price for this show!  Tickets for both performances can be purchased at the college book store or at the Farmer’s and Merchant’s Bank Branch at Dillons.  I think the Sunday Matinee is going to be very popular–I hope there is a sell-out!


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Barbershop Collage

Last night was the Tumbleweed Chorus’ spring concert entitled Harmony in Conflict: Civil War.  It was an excellent, excellent show.  Many people enjoy going to professional shows, but the Prairie Family loves amateur productions.  It is absolutely amazing to see the “normal people” talent that is found everywhere–even in our small town on the Prairie.

This show, of course, featured the Tumbleweed Chorus, which is the group that Dan and the boys are a part of.  They sang mostly Civil War type songs.  The Prairie Rose Chorus, which is a group of lady barbershoppers from our area, sang a few numbers.  Their second song, The Drinking Gourd, was particularly moving.  Their conductor had arranged this folksong that was used by the Underground Railroad to give directions to the escaped slaves on their way to freedom.

There were two guest quartets.  The first quartet calls themselves Uncalled-4, and the members are from around the area and perform at various events.  They are very good, and what is really cool about this group is that my cousin’s husband is the lead singer!  I wasn’t aware of this until recently, and since I hadn’t seen him for many, many years, it was great to see him and get reacquainted.  The chorus that he belongs to is having their own concert in a couple of weeks, and he gave us some tickets for that–it’ll be fun to see what other groups do!

The other guest quartet was called Rusty Pipes.  They are a national champion quartet, so they were amazing.  Their harmonies, dynamics, expression, humor–everything–was top notch.

So, it was a wonderful evening.  I was so proud of all of my guys.  They truly sang their hearts out, and it was just very cool.  I will add a couple of videos from the concert to this entry.  Please note that the sound is somewhat distorted from my camera–it sounds all right, but it was AWESOME in real life.  The first song is Nearer my God to Thee, and the second is a stirring arrangement of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

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This Saturday, the barbershop group that the Prairie Family guys have joined is having their big concert for this season.  The concert is entitled “Harmony in Conflict: Civil War” and will feature several barbershop groups performing traditional barbershop songs and Civil War-era songs.  There are two performances, so they will be busy most of the day, but they enjoy it, and they certainly have learned a lot about singing, harmonizing, and blending through their work with this group.

John’s Civil War hat has an interesting story.  When the group’s hats came in, all of them were teeny tiny little hats.  The hats fit Luke pretty well, but are tight on Dan and Brock, and WAY too small for John.  His crazy hat looked so silly sitting on top of his head–he almost needed a string to tie it on!  🙂  I was talking about it with a lady from our church, and she said that she thought she might be able to make it work better.  I told her if she could, she would be a very-much-appreciated miracle worker!  She took the hat home with John’s head measurement, and after having it only for a few hours, she had that hat fixed so it fits!  Yes, indeed:  a much-appreciated miracle worker!  I know I have mentioned this several times recently, but I must say it again:  we are truly blessed with wonderful friends.  I don’t know what we would do without them!

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Costumes and Sets


I love this picture of Cosette searching through the college costume room. Prop/Costume rooms are magical places of make-believe and dreams.

We’ve been working on getting our Fiddler on the Roof costumes together.  I’ve ordered some things, bought others from second-hand shops.  The girls sewed their skirts, and special friends have volunteered to make other items for us.  And, we’ve borrowed a few things from the college.  In this picture, Cosette is trying to find a blouse to go with the skirt she made.  Unfortunately, she didn’t find just what she was looking for this time, but I told her that we’ll keep our eyes open until we do find just the right thing.  On the other hand, Kara found just the blouse to go with her skirt today–it looks like they were made to match instead of one being newly made in the past few weeks while the other has probably hung for decades at the college waiting for its debut.

Our director let us come in this afternoon to help make sets–something that is totally new to us.  We appreciate the opportunities to learn as we go, and try to take advantage of every opportunity given to us.  He has some really good ideas this year to make scene changes easier, and we got to help get the pieces together!  I can’t wait to see how these props work out in the weeks to come.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  these are special, special days.  Days of precious memories.

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Random Fun

A few weeks ago I came upstairs during school to find that SOMEONE was playing on the Kindle Fire during school hours–NAUGHTY COOKIE!  🙂


Trying to build card houses was a short-lived, but intense Prairie Family fad!

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We made it to Spring Break, which for the Prairie Family means that we have reached the middle of the college musical season.  The first few weeks of rehearsals are pretty informal–mostly learning the music and basic blocking of the scenes.  Once Spring Break is over, though, serious practices set in, and we are looking forward to it!  Yes, beginning next week, we will be running full acts (hopefully), and things really start coming together for our performances in April.

These early weeks are fun in themselves also.  They are full of learning songs, practicing lines, and figuring out costumes.  The girls have really enjoyed being Tevye’s two youngest daughters because they have gotten to go to extra practices with the college kids.  You can imagine how special that made them feel!  John has been working on learning his parts as the Fiddler, and everyone else has been busy working on learning lines.  I have been working my way through learning the music for the pit orchestra.  I am going to try something a little different this year:  I am going to try to throw in a little bit of clarinet music here and there in addition to the violin.  (That is my plan, anyway.  We’ll see how switching back and forth between instruments works once we start running the acts.)

These are special, special days.  Days we look forward to all year and look back on with great joy.  Busy?  Yes.  But I wouldn’t change a thing!

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Learning to Sew


The past few months, the girls have been going to a friend’s house to work on sewing projects.  They both love it so much, and I am so thankful that this special lady is taking the time to share her talent and skills with them.  So far they have made a tote bag, a simple quilt top, and these cute cropped pants:

Melissa Sewing

When Cosette and Kara were cast as Tevye’s two youngest daughters in Fiddler on the Roof, they immediately asked about being able to sew part of their own costumes.  I talked it over with their teacher, and she thought they could put together the skirts that they needed.  So, the girls went over to her house on a Saturday afternoon and whipped out a couple of darling skirts that they will use for the musical.  (That is what Kara is sewing in this entry’s first picture.) Believe me, they are DELIGHTED and can’t wait to start the dress rehearsals so they can wear their new skirts!  🙂

We are so blessed with many, many friends.  Truly our lives are rich, and we are very thankful!

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Several years ago, our family became acquainted via the internet with another violin-playing/adoptive/homeschool family.  We have gotten to know and love this family over the years and actually got our kids together a few years back when our friends were passing through our area on vacation.  It has been a joy to watch these wonderful kids grow up–and what talent!  This boy and his sister are both amazing violinists.  “M” recently put together this video of one of my favorite songs, “You Raise Me Up.”  We are so thankful for this family; they are true blessings to us.

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