2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty

Now that we’ve started the 21st week of the 2019-20 school year, I guess I should wrap up week 20!

Turkey and Bunny worked with polar coordinates in pre-calculus, which was very new and different. They finished the chapter on work and energy in physics. Their study of The Hound of the Baskervilles finally took them to Baskerville Hall. In history, they read about the seventh crusade, and to be honest, it seems like the Crusades will never end!

Ladybug calculated the perimeter and area of different shapes in pre-algebra. She also finished a chapter in science. In history, she learned about several European wars that led up to the American Revolution. Bunny accidentally gave her a spoiler about what is coming up in Anne of Green Gables, and she was not happy about it!

Chickadee had a very light week of school, because she was sick for a few days (she even had to miss catechesis, which made her very sad!). She did a lot of reading, and started her second math book of the year, where she learned how to write fractions. She also started learning about Mars in science.

And, in kind-of-related-to-school activities, Turkey and I went to see Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back live in concert at Powell Hall with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra last week. I think an important part of any education is music appreciation as well as exposure to cultural events. I’m trying to make sure each of the children has an opportunity to see the symphony play something, and so far, the three oldest children have all accompanied me to Powell Hall for an event. It’s a lot of fun, and a good introduction to live orchestral music without the pressure of a more, shall we say, high-class, event!

Symphony Saturday

In September, Bunny and I got to go to Powell Hall to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while the St. Louis Symphony played the score. Moose received a similar awesome birthday gift, and today he and I got to go see Home Alone on the big screen while the Symphony played.

We were really excited to see Powell Hall dressed up for Christmas:

We had plenty of time before the movie to takes pictures and have a holiday-themed drink at the Met Bar…Moose had an eggnog, and I had the special…poinsettia punch:

Our seats were great…I think we had the best spot for hearing the music!

At the beginning of the year, I had never set foot inside Powell Hall, and now I’ve been there three times…once for a tour, and twice for “Live at Powell Hall” events. This is definitely one of my new favorite places in St. Louis!

Symphony Sunday

Bunny received an awesome gift for her birthday in July…two tickets to go to Powell Hall and hear the St. Louis Symphony play the score to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while they showed the movie on a big screen. Today was the day, and she asked me to with her…we had an amazing time!

We got there just after the doors opened, and had a fun time walking around in our Pinup Girl Clothing House Harlequins, people watching, and enjoying an “Enchanted Brew” at the Met Bar:

The ushers at Powell Hall are extremely nice, and we had no trouble finding our seats, which provided us with a great view, and perfect acoustics:

The performance was outstanding. The St. Louis Symphony was so good, and so unobtrusive, that I occasionally forgot we were hearing a live orchestra. The crowd was great, too. It was clear that everybody there was enjoying the show, and it was really fun to get to see a Harry Potter movie with other fans!

This was my first St. Louis Symphony experience, and I really hope it isn’t my last…everything about our time at Powell Hall was so much fun!

Powell Hall

One of my favorite parts about this year’s Kantorei Kamp was getting to tag along on the field trip to Powell Hall, the home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (which is the second-oldest symphony orchestra in America). Of course I knew about the Symphony, but I had never really thought about the building in which they play. Powell Hall was originally the St. Louis Theater, which opened in 1925, and was host to live shows, Vaudeville acts, and movies. It wasn’t until 1968 that it reopened as the new home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.  I really wasn’t prepared for the grandeur of the building, which I noted the moment we walked in the door:

The Grand Foyer, which was modeled after the royal chapel at Versailles, is amazing to look at. There are beautiful crystal chandeliers and gold ornamentation taking the form of fleur-de-lis, dogwoods, and even instruments throughout. It is an amazing sight!

We stopped in the Met Bar, which, as the name suggests, contains a piece from the bar of the old Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. There are more beautiful decorative elements in this space, as well, including the only original chandelier from the St. Louis Theater:

We got to see the view from the Grand Tier, which made me feel like I was in an episode of I Love Lucy:

And from the Grand Circle. You can really appreciate the gold leaf on the ceiling from this viewpoint!

We then went to the very front of the hall. We didn’t get to go onstage, but we did get to take a look from the wings, and get an idea of what the musicians see:

We then got the real backstage tour, where we saw the “locker room,” if you will:

As well as the musician’s lounge:

We saw a lot of signed photos from famous entertainers who have performed at Powell…my favorite was Jack Benny (of course!). We also saw the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Grammy award.

The outside of the building is quite grand, too.

This was a really fun trip, and I enjoyed getting the chance to see something really new. Now we just need to go to a concert, so we can get the full experience!

Kantorei Kamp Week

For the fourth summer in a row, “The Bigs” have participated in a Kantorei Kamp at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis. It’s a busy, fun week for everybody, because while they’re at camp, Chickadee and I go adventuring…sometimes, I think she has more fun than her siblings do!

On Monday, while the Kamp had a full day of music theory, handbell practice, and choral rehearsals, Chickadee and I went to the playground in Forest Park and to the Missouri History Museum, where we visited the History Clubhouse and the new “Muny Memories” exhibit:

On Tuesday, Chickadee and I went to the Missouri Botanical Garden in the morning, and then joined the Kantorei Kamp for some swimming at the YMCA:

Wednesday was a little bit cooler, so Chickadee and I walked around the St. Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Art Museum:

We only had a little bit of free time on Thursday morning, so Chickadee and I visited the St. Louis Public Library and read some books before joining the Kantorei Kamp for a backstage tour of Powell Hall, a picnic lunch, concretes at Ted Drewes, and a concert by a quartet from the Greenleaf Singers for Make Music St. Louis Day:

And today we went with the Kantorei Kamp to the LC-MS International Center to hear them sing for chapel. After that, Chickadee and I visited the St. Louis Science Center before picking up “The Bigs” from their last day of Kamp:

And a bonus handbell piece from church on Sunday, which I managed to record while they rehearsing before the service:

Chickadee Thursday

Today was another super busy day for Chickadee. “The Bigs” have Kantorei Kamp this week, so she and I have been starting every day with them in Morning Prayer. After that, she and I went to my favorite branch of the St. Louis Public Library for a little reading time:

There was an extra-special Kamp field trip today, and since I was one of the drivers, Chickadee got to go, too. We toured Powell hall, which is the home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, had a picnic lunch, stopped for a treat at Ted Drewes, and then heard a Renaissance quartet from the Greenleaf Singers as part of “Make Music Day St. Louis.”

Today was just one busy day in an extremely busy week…I can’t believe Chickadee isn’t as exhausted as I am!