Saturday, July 29, 2006

Can you really get something for a song?

Songs are not as cheap to come by anymore, apparently!

Ok, that makes no sense does it? It has to do with Riley's audition today. She tried out for a spot with the Atlanta Youth Choir, and she made it! Good news? Yes and no!

First of all, let me add that she was auditioned by the conductor and the assistant conductor (who is over the Cantori, which is the choir for elementary). They both wanted to audition her because of her age. She was in there by herself for about 15 minutes, then came out and said we were supposed to wait and they would come talk to us. So we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally I asked the executive director guy who was in the waiting area if Riley had misunderstood. He went in to check, and said they were still discussing her, and they would call us back soon.

So they finally called us back in there, and told me that she obviously has a talent, a lovely voice, and a natural ear for music. BUT they were both concerned about her behavior and her obivious "social nature". They asked me if she had been in any group activities. @@ I suppose they were hoping that this was a homeschooled child who had never been in public before and she would calm down upon being put into a group! Yeah right. I told them that Riley has a very loud, energetic personality. I told them that she would not likely just "fall into line" by seeing others, and that she would require firm expectations. I mentioned that she was going to take ballet this fall, and we were concerned about the same thing there. She's been in group activities since she was 3 years old and it's always been the same: "Riley is loud." "Riley talks too much." I can only control so much when I'm not in the room. If they have a discipline issue with Riley, they will need to implement whatever consequence they have established.

Having said all that, I asked them if they felt she would benefit from another year to mature before trying AYC. They both said they really would like her to try this year, because she definitely has the talent. Day Camp for new singers is Monday, and Day Camp for the Cantori is on Thursday (supposed to be our first day of school! LOL). She would be expected at both.

Now here comes the bad news: $. Let me add a few more of those: $$$$. This is a great opportunity but it's very expensive. If we had had the last 3-4 months to come up with the money as the other families have had, it probably wouldn't have been too big of a deal. But I have to have this money by Tuesday. Mom said she could help me with a little, but she wasn't sure how much. Also, on the contract, it states that you are responsible for the fee regardless of whether you leave or are asked to leave. I placed a call to the director this afternoon and left a message asking if that was going to apply to Riley this week, because it was my understanding that they wanted her to try the day camp this week and see what she thinks of everything.

I don't want to tell her I can't afford this for her. I will if I have to, of course, but I don't want to. I want her to be able to do something special. I feel like she would really benefit from some extra time of her own. Yes, it's because of her siblings having autism. That sounds terrible, but it is true. Austin and Reece have been so hard to live with this summer.

So I guess we'll see in a few days how this will all play out. The $$ factor is mostly just the initial expense: registration fee, and I would owe the first 2 installments of the enrollment fee, plus I would need to pay for a uniform soon. There are just 4 more monthly installments of the enrollment fee after Tuesday, and those I am sure we could manage (esp. if the other kids are done with therapy), and mom said she knew she could help with. It's just this initial stuff.

I hope they call me back soon. I don't like decisions left up in the air!

Edited to add: Russ and I just discussed this some more and he really feels this is too big of a committment for Riley at this time. Instead he wants her to try a church choir first (Riley has a friend who does choir at her church that's not too far away, maybe we could go with her!). I asked Riley about it, and she is completely fine with that idea! She said she just wants a choir to sing in. So I guess that is that. I feel a little sad, because I feel like we're letting Riley down. :(

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