Sunday, May 20, 2012
Fleadh Champion! Or Otherwise Entitled...What a Weekend!
What a crazy weekend we had...yes, folks, crazier than usual. Hard to believe, I know. Haley's competition under 12's was split into 2 groups because of the number of competitors. The judges were to pick 5-6 kids from each group to compete in the finals at 10am. As is not all that unusual in these things, everything was running late and at 10:30 the other original group was still not finished competing.
The problem with this was that Haley needed to be back home in Philly for her PRYSM orchestra concert (remember a post awhile back about me needing a helicopter...well, I didn't get one) at noon...almost 2 hours away. Her teacher spoke to those in charge and the adjudicator agreed to hear her so we could leave. Haley played and we immediately jumped in the car and drove, like lighting, to Philly. (I did not speed...ahem, my dad drove.) She didn't feel she had played as good the second time as she did the first...probably because she was watching her mom go from mildly annoyed to extremely stressed as the time we were delayed increased and increased. We arrived about 40 min. late but just in time for her to do the pre-concert rehearsal with her group.
After the concert, we got back in the car and headed back to the Fleadh venue. We had learned the results while driving so knew Haley had placed 1st and Dylan did a great job but did not place. Since Haley was being shuffled to Philly, he had to accompany a friend who he isn't used to playing with but he was a champ and played great!
We arrived back at the hotel and walked in the door just in time to hear them call Haley's name to be presented with her trophy. She walked in and was presented her trophy. I usually get photos of these things but since it was so crazy, I didn't even think to get my camera out.
This is why we go to the Fleadh! After the competitions are over, the kids hang out with their friends and play music together. Haley and Dylan have a group of friends we see every year. They know each other well now and the fiddlers all have the same teacher so have a lot of tunes in common. They played music from about 7:30pm until midnight.
Some time around 10pm, Haley, Alex, and Keegan decided they wanted to form a trio and compete the following morning. Haley and Alex both play fiddle and have the same teacher so know a lot of the same tunes but Keegan is just learning uilleann pipes so has a limited repertoire. The kids spent the next 2 hours trying out tunes and going through tune lists (and goofing off together) then practiced the 2 tunes they picked a couple times.
When I finally told Haley we just had to go to bed it was midnight. We walked into the hall near the elevators and saw John Whelan playing in a session. He asked Haley to have some tunes and she was happy to oblige since she loves playing with him. They played tune after tune. I think we finally got to bed sometime around 1am.
I volunteered Sunday morning and had to announce competitors for the duet competitions. I think I massacred at least 6 Irish names and I missed the kids trio competition. They played really well together and were encouraged by the adjudicator to try again next year. They didn't place because their variations were not played together...they didn't know they had to play every note together because they'd never done that competition before. Haley went swimming with the boys and Dylan watched his friends compete in duets. We went for lunch with the same friends then headed home.
Crazy weekend finished!