I get sentimental at the end of the school year. It’s just habit now, since my younger daughter finished high school in 2009. But the parental rhythms are well established and I have so many friends who are still experiencing the proms and the graduations and the getting-ready-to-go excitement of their seniors.
A highlight for Albany High musicians and their families is the last concert of the year at the Ashkenaz in Berkeley. The funkiness of the old dance hall venue is just right for the Jazz Band and the R&B group Rhythm Bound. The bands have worked hard together all year, so the music is tight. But it’s more than that. This concert is a celebration, and you feel it.
There is joy.
The Jazz Band impresses with their accomplished interpretations of many styles.
Then, when Rhythm Bound takes the stage, the party is well and truly started.
The final number had everyone dancing, including most of the singers. Can you feel the joy?
I think this next one might be my favorite shot of the evening. During the encore, Musical Director Craig Bryant took off his jacket and found a spot in the back corner by the stage where he could pick up the tambourine and feel what the band was feeling as they let fly with Aretha’s RESPECT. I love this moment. He might just be the hardest working man in show business.
I know the kids enjoyed the evening. I saw them. And I know the parents did because we are still talking about it. Next year the seniors will be invited to the stage to join in the last number as alums. And if they possibly can, they will.
You can see (much) more of the night here.