Friday, November 13, 2009

enough make me cry, Up your Watershed in Williams Lake

~Up Your Watershed / Williams Lake~

~Holly Arntzen and  Me~

More than 250 students from Kwaleen, Nesika and Cataline elementary schools came together last week at the Gibraltar Room in Wiliams lake for a mass concert in praise of nature.

The concert, called Up Your Watershed, was the culmination of weeks of work by individual teachers with their students, that was buffed up in workshops this week with Artists Response Team, Voices of Nature professional musicians Holly Arntzen, Kevin Wright, Shawn Soucy and Rachael Chatoor.

~ I have explained in greater detail what the Up your Watershed Tour is about in an earlier post, right here!~

Today, I'm sharing this video note to the kids, and below, I've included some of the  pictures I took last week which  should give you a glimpse of what our days leading up to the big show were like while hanging and working with the children !

~video note, this is a heart I send out to ALL of the kids~

SO, day one and we wasted no time at all getting to work! We went to two schools each day at first and spent a few hours at each. Here we are in the gym with the kids and the teachers, going over the songs and blocking out the concert.

~Holly Arntzen and Keven Wright are the creative force behind this whole operation, everything runs just tickety boo in this outfit. Part of the brilliance of this concert is the learning element that is inherent in the participation. Here, Holly and Kevin are reading the song introductions that the children wrote themselves. ~

~It was so cute, the intros that were chosen to be read out onstage, were read by the children who wrote them. They were so sincere and thoughtful. I'm not at all kidding when I say this, these kids had me very misty eyed several times throughout the week~


~more rehearsals~

~auditions for the solo parts~

~Shawn was named the official leader of the Salmon People~

~Shawn Soucy, Kevin Wright~

~Kevin had those kids in the palm of his hand~
~I think my guitar and bass look ideally suited for this gig don't you?~

~Holly, moi, and  our totally adorable, especially helpful  host Bev, out on a tour of Scout Island which is maintained by the Nature Trust.   Bev Anderson and Marg Evans (not pictured) play a major role in the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, they are great supporters of the Up your Watershed program.

~peaceful and pretty~

Bev  from the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society invited the band  out to lunch at the Gecko Tree Cafe. By all accounts this turned out to be the best little eatery in Williams Lake, we went there 3 times in 3 days because they served up such delicious and fresh food.
(which is just what you want when you are out on the road)
Finding fresh food on the road...... it is like finding fairy dust, you become very thankful for it.
I think that if we had known about this place on the first day, we would have eaten there even more frequently than we did.
So, it was 8 thumbs up for the Gecko Tree!


~rehearsal morning, day of the show the kids are briefed by Holly, the energy is high, the room feels exciting, they can see now, this is a real show.......she has them entranced!~

~the Gibraltar Room~

Holly Arntzen
~show night was a thrill, the kids were ON~
(there will be promo DVD's of the concert if you would like to see the show)

Kevin Wright vocals, percussion, sax, bass
Shawn Soucy, drums, percussion, vocals
Rachael Chatoor vocals, bass, guitar

~totally awesome kids (and a gorgeous big hug for me from Danika)~

~more awesome kids~

~THANK YOU for all the treats and love you gave us all~

~after the show we signed a lot of autographs~

I was personally so very impressed, witnessing Holly's pure musicianship and magic while she is onstage performing. She is flawless, like liquid, just being the music. Not only is it fortunate for the children to be around her, but for me as well. I will learn so much from her as I go through this process. Already I've been required to push myself farther than I am comfortable going, already I have fallen and picked myself up. There was no reproach just encouragement. I can see there are things for me to learn here, and to give.  I seem to be ideally set up to fill some of the holes that the  project needs filling and that is important to me, perfect.  I feel so awkward just taking. It's much easier on the soul to give back in some way,  it feels right.  And so what do I do? I share the project online, in my own special way, so that other schools and children may see how fulfilling a project this is, and perhaps, you want your school to be a part of it.

Interested to know more?
Talk to Holly and Kevin through their website, or come to a show.
More shows upcoming...... Surrey (Dec. 3 - Bell Performing Arts Centre), Vancouver (Jan. 21, 2010 - Norman Rothstein Theatre) Vancouer (Mar. 2, 2010 - Vancouver East Cutural Centre).

Thanks to the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Fraser Basin Council for thier support!

So after the show, still basking in the glow of it all, the band joined a super cute and sweet Shirley from the Daybeak Rotary Club (who was a big help in this whole project)  for some after show chillax-ing Williams Lake style. We were discussing difficult situations where language barriers were clearly an issue, and I found it interesting when Shirley asked us if we knew what hand gesture  could be most  universally used to diffuse any difficult situation where language could be a barrier that would create misunderstanding?

 We all gave our guesses which ranged from a hand held out for a handshake, to the indian placing his hand high in the air in the classic  'how', to the hippie love peace sign....... every one could be mis-interpreted somewhere for some silly reason. All except one........ .

Keep that in mind, it may come in handy one day.

I promised my friend Rae that I would say hi to Green Lake when I passed it. This was shot from a swiftly moving car shortly after I caught the one single teeny tiny sign  on the whole 6 hours of road that pointed the way.  And I said, " Hi Green Lake" as I drove past!
I have many complicated missions to achieve in a day you know. :)

Rach xo


ZoAnn said...

great blog site. lots of the energy of the show comes through. take care ZoAnn

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It sounds like it was a truly incredible experience! And so well documented too!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant cause Rachael. Nice one.

Chef E said...

What a great thing you are doing! I run open mics around the Central Jersey area and we play for Inner city schools, nursing homes and other venues to reach young kids, aging, and other wise!

Gumbo sent me over, and I can see why he keeps up with you...peace...