Wednesday, August 4, 2010
My First Publicly Performed Song
During that year, through the collective efforts of our class and some of the other music classes taught by Mrs. Toomb, we put together a musical production called Colora. I don't really remember the exact story of Colora, but it was a sort of fairy tale which had something to do with making the sad king smile. In this kingdom everyone was identified by a particular color or color scheme. A member or members of each color group had to present their talent in a skit or musical number in order to attempt to make the king smile.
Mrs. Toomb requested that anyone who was able to write music and wanted to participate could submit an original song or piece of music to be considered for the musical production which would be presented to the public. Also, she asked for students to try out their talents to be a part of the production. I had a talent to present and a song to offer.
Since I had already played violin in a choral production earlier in the school year, I offered up my talent of juggling. My next door neighbor, Gordon, had learned to juggle from my sister and me, and he and I auditioned a simple juggling routine. No one else offered the talent of juggling, so Gordon and I were readily chosen to be in the production. We were designated as the Plaid Lads and the color scheme of our costumes would be shades of green, blue, and red in a plaid pattern. We decided to juggle brightly colored wooden croquet balls--a somewhat hazardous choice of juggling props!
The song I submitted was an instrumental which may have been influenced by a movement of a Haydn symphony, but was originally a song I made up to taunt my sister with the ignoble lyrics: "With her pants pulled down, with her pants pulled down, she goes around with her pants pulled down." Needless to say I submitted the song sans lyrics. It was turned into a jaunty accordion duet that was to be played by two young men whose color theme was crimson.
The Colora production was well received by all in its two performances. I don't really remember much of the music except for my little ditty and the opening strains of the theme song that started out, "Over the rainbow--Colora". There were probably about twenty songs in all, each sung by soloists, ensembles, and the choir or played instrumentally or as backing for dance routines. And of course there was Gordon and I as the juggling Plaid Lads.
Afterwards, Mrs. Toomb was so excited by the musical that she attempted to get someone interested in having it published and presented as a professional production. I don't know what happened with her efforts--we never heard anything about it after that. But I think it was quite an entertaining production with some fine songs. It was the first time one of my compositions was performed by other artists on stage before an audience. Too bad they didn't have video cameras back then. It would have been nice to have had that memory other than only in my mind.