From the shop, we headed to the Texas A&M campus where Haley and Dylan had time and room to rehearse with their adorable dancers, Sara and Joclyn, with their teachers helping.
I love how Irish music and dance brings people together. From the moment we met the girls, their teachers, and parents, it felt like we'd known them forever. Most of us went to dinner at a wonderful, delicious Mexican restaurant. Yummy!
We went back to the hotel room after. Haley insisted on practicing her classical music before we turned in for the night.
Friday morning we had to be up and out early. The concert, The Rising Stars Concert sponsored by the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra for the school children of Laredo, was to begin at 10am so we had to arrive early for a sound check and quick run-through on stage. They had given Haley the music to Hallelujah Chorus the night before and she, an amazing young classical violinist, Skye Park, and a wonderful young cellist, were to join the local middle school orchestra and high school chorus for this piece in a finale.
The school children began arriving around 9:30am and they were very excited when we passed them in the hall a couple times on our way to and from the rest room. There were over 900 students and teachers in attendance. The concert was amazing. All the "rising stars" performed wonderfully and the audience was very enthusiastic, attentive, and appreciative. They gave standing ovations after every piece!
|Hallelujah Chorus finale|
|Meet and greet session.|
|The young performers with Toni.|
Toni picked us up the next morning to drive us the two hours to San Antonio. We hung out the next couple days seeing the sites like The Alamo, the Riverwalk, and Riverwalk Mall. We enjoyed a haunted house and a Guinness Book of World Records museum. We also went to the Buckhorn Museum and Texas Rangers Museum. We walked around in t-shirts or light jackets in February. It was wonderful!
|Remember the Alamo!|
Our fun continued through last night…a number of months ago Haley was photographed by Robin Hiteshew in black and white for an exhibit he was putting together called The Faces of Irish Music. On Thursday night, the exhibit opened at the Irish Consulate in NYC. Haley and I were among the invitees. It was amazing seeing my twelve year old daughter's photograph among the 50 photos of icons of Irish music…Andy McGann, Martin Wynne, Brian Conway, Mick Moloney, Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh, Eileen Ivers, John Whelan, Liz Carroll, etc… What an honor!
|Haley playing tunes below her portrait.|
|Haley with the Pearl River Ceili Band.|