Saturday, July 02, 2011

Freedom Fire!

Freedom Fire, Logan City’s annual celebration and firework display, opens with a bang, presenting Cache Valley’s largest Independence Day show at Utah State University’s Romney Stadium July 1, 2011.

Here she is, the star of the show! (That is a funny joke because she is one blue spot in 500.) We had no idea if joining this performance was a good idea or not. Two of her best friends signed up too but then one drop out because it was the same week as YW girls camp. That just left the two of them. Craig Jessop was the director of the American Festival Chorus, a new 270-member choir headquartered at Utah State University. John Jacobson was choreographing the production so we thought, well why not?!! It might be a fun experience. It was!

First they had an all morning Sat. rehearsal with the dance team. They also had three songs to memorize (singing), so they practiced with one of the moms for an afternoon earlier in the week.

This was the day before the performance, a mandatory practice all day Thursday. Luckily they fed them lunch and they were able to send them home for dinner. They returned for a dress rehearsal that evening in the stadium until 9pm. It was a very very hot day but luckily Utah State University has this handy indoor football practice field so they spend the hottest parts of the day here.

So are you wondering who John Jacobson is? Does the phrase "Double Dream Hands" ring a bell?

"John Jacobson is the author and composer of many musicals and choral works that have been performed by millions of children worldwide, as well as educational videos and tapes that have helped music educators excel in their individual teaching arenas."

This is really him! He was a super nice guy, humorous and proficient. If anyone could pull something like this off he could, and he did! Yes, they even did the double dream hands dance as they warmed up for the performance. It was really silly.

The whole thing has a marching band feel to it. They just had to be in the right place at the right time for different parts of the songs and throughout the performance. It was really neat to watch it come together in such a short time.

Here we are waiting backstage to go on! First they had the 300 Boy Scouts carrying American Flags. Backstage they had 4 fire-engines and lots of firefighters on call in case the fireworks set a building on fire. I was there because I was one of the lucky parents to volunteer! That means I got in free for standing around with the kids for a couple of hours making sure none of them were chewing gum! I had sprained my ankle earlier in the week but it was well enough by Friday night. I didn't want to miss this!

A Flyover by some cool military airplane. Anyone know which one this is? I missed that small detail when they announced it because we were backstage trying to be quiet but we couldn't really see or hear anything useful.

The performance was very impressive! The Choir was amazing. Craig Jessop was the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for many years. All the kids had a great time! I got to sit in the best seats in the house on the West side without the sun in my eyes. Later I joined the kids on the field to see the fireworks.

Diamond Rio
did a concert. 70 minutes of the whole stadium and the kids really getting into it. I actually had never heard of this country band but a few of the songs I recognized. They were really good. I especially liked the songs they played that were bluegrass. The banjo really livened things up. They also added the orchestra to a few of their songs. That was impressive. I forgot to mention the orchestra! They probably had the hardest part of the evening. They played all the music and it was a couple of hours of patriotic songs and then playing with the band! I found this about them, "The professional American Festival Orchestra is composed of USU music faculty, outstanding musicians in the community and the Northern Utah region and top select senior USU students. Principal strings are the Fry String Quartet."

At first they were shy then they started getting up and dancing all over the field. The one instruction they had been given was to stay on their line so we could do the grand finale after the concert without being out of place.

The kids eventually ended up in one big clump dancing and having fun. They all found their line again at the end. Susan and her friend though, did not move from their line despite the chaos. I thought that was very obedient of them.

The lights went out and the Fireworks were immediately after the grand finale. I love to see a really good firework show timed just right to patriotic music. This one was really spectacular! Loved it!

Happy 4th of JULY! We really enjoyed participating and it was worth it 100%!!!


Mike said...

That was fun.

And I'm glad your foot is better!

Scorchi said...

What a great blessing that you can live where you have these opportunities!