Friday, October 12, 2018

The Iron Chimps Rock Concert {Ampersand Music School}

Nicholas has been taking private guitar lessons for 4-5 years with Ethan at Ampersand Music School. Last summer, the school started offering a Rock Band class.  Students signed up for the class and the instructors put them together with other students to make a band.  Nicholas couldn't wait to sign up.  

Each band has to come up with their own band name.  Nicholas' band talked together about famous bands that they liked and they came up with their band name The Iron Chimps.  Here is a condensed version of their thought process.  It was a tip of the hat to honor the popular bands Led Zepplin (Led got changed to lead then changed to "Iron") and Arctic Monkeys (Monkeys got changed to "Chimps"). 



The kids meet once a week for an hour to practice.  The instructors are great at working with the kids on how to play instruments together with others.  They have to keep on the same beat, listen to each other and improvise if things go wrong.  It is really taking their music instruction to a whole new level....plus they are having a blast!

This was Nicholas' second rock band concert with Ampersand.  Last time the concert was free but this time things were done a little differently.  Tickets were sold for $3.00 but the music school didn't take any of the money.  Instead they donated part of the proceeds to the church where the band practices and holds the concerts and the rest of the money goes to the students so they can get a taste of what is is like to really make money with their band.  There are three different bands in the program and the turn out was great.  


The Iron Chimps performed four songs in the concert.  Here are the videos...

Legend by The Score


Sky Spills Over by Michael W. Smith


Smack Down by Thousand Foot Crutch


Beat It by Michael Jackson

We are so grateful to the Ampersand instructors, Ethan and Benjamin.  They are great with the kids and they help them both in band and individual lessons.  Our kids have enjoyed their lessons and we love seeing their music abilities shine.

We got a final picture of the three bands all together.  It was a great night and we are so proud of all of these kids!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Dallas Stars vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 10/09/2018

Since Nicholas is playing high school hockey, he received a free Dallas Stars ticket for High School Hockey Night.  The Stars played the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Yes, it seems weird but the plural of Leaf really is Leafs when it is used as a proper noun.  Additional tickets to the game were just $10 so we grabbed enough for the whole family and a friend.


Our seats were about as high up as you could get.  Stuart joked about needing a Sherpa and an oxygen tank!  But we were at a Dallas Stars hockey game so it was all good.


We always try to get to the game early so we can watch the teams warm up.  People haven't gotten to their seats yet so you can walk right up to the glass.  That's close enough to count the missing teeth on each player. (ugh!)


There was a cameraman in our section and he was determined to get Rachel on the Jumbotron.  She was cute in her Stars jersey and jumping around with green pom poms.  I'm amazed Stuart thought to catch it on video.  He's Super Dad.


Nicholas had to explain to his friend a little about how the game of hockey is played but he caught on quickly and was soon cheering like a true Stars fan.


The Stars lost the game but we still had a great time.  As we made our way out of the stadium, we stopped in the gift shop for a bit.  Stuart and Nicholas tried to hide this hockey puck from me.  They know I worry about Nicholas losing a tooth from playing hockey.


The terminal for the DART rail is right outside the American Airlines Center so it was just a short walk back to the train.   


We hopped on the next green line train which is just the one we needed to head back north.  However, we didn't realize that it was not going to the end of the line (our stop).  Instead we learned that it was going out of service about half way along our trip.  This meant that we had to get off at a stop unfamiliar to us (and possibly not in the best part of town) and wait for the next train to come through.  Not our best planning moment but we survived.


We were scheduled to arrive back to our station at 11:47 pm so you can imagine there weren't many people on the train at that time.  However, Little Bit insisted on not sitting in a seat because she wanted to ride holding a handle like she has seen in the movies.  She was slightly on tip-toe as she stood there but she was determined to do it.  Silly girl!


With both kids playing on the Stars hockey leagues, we will get a few more sets of tickets to Dallas Stars games.  As always, I can't wait to go back!