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Butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, nervous laughter, bright lights and an audience full of family members and friends. These are the feelings our middle school musicians have faced in the past week while performing at their annual Barnes and Noble night and Christmas concert. While the Christmas season can be overwhelmingly busy with the activities that fill our calendars, there is no better time to gather and listen to the hard work of our students sharing their musical gifts.

I remember like it was yesterday my place in the both the middle school and high school orchestra and the nerves and excitement that was in the air. Under the direction of Richard Rudd and Mark Lucas, my participation in our music department all through my EC career is a major part of my fond school memories. My entire family were my greatest supporters, of course, but it wasn’t about me. It was about the notes we sang and played that allowed everyone to experience this important part of our education at Eastern Christian. It was about supporting the music directors and their hard work, it was about encouraging varying levels of music abilities. Eastern Christian has had the opportunity to provide high quality music groups for many years and this month’s performances were another example of God’s goodness to us.

At most concerts I am quietly scrambling around to take some photos for our yearbook and don’t get to thoroughly enjoy the music. This year, my front row seat forced me to sit back, close my eyes, and listen to the sounds of the band, orchestra, and choirs. The nerves and jitters were obvious but they kept smiling, took deep breaths, and shared with the audience everything they had worked so hard on since September. I loved experiencing my students in a setting outside of the classroom and could watch their proud smiles. And they love seeing their peers, teachers, and families in the audience.

Thank you to directors Rob Flim, Cathy Clark, and Tiffany Fontana for the dedication they bring to our music department and for the way in which they tirelessly bring out the best in every one of the musicians. These two performances were another example of our students striving for excellence in all they do.

Liesl Botbyl

By: Liesl Botbyl

Liesl Botbyl is the 7th and 8th grade science teacher at the Eastern Christian Middle School Campus

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