Ventura County Honor Band

In October/November, Quinn’s middle school band director nominated Quinn to audition for the Ventura County Honor Band (VCHB). It was such a proud moment for Quinn and we were so pleased for him. Only a small handful of kids from his school were nominated. However, Quinn practices as little as possible and was a bit lackadaisical about the tuba. But, he seemed determined to make the honor band.

Backing up….over the summer Quinn started with a new tuba tutor, Mike Freed, who is a band director at another local middle school. He’s such a great tutor and Quinn really likes him. In November, Quinn’s school band director had to take a medical leave of absence and Mike Freed stepped in. Quinn was thrilled to have Mr. Freed as his band director and his tutor.

His weekly tuba lesson at a local high school.

Quinn had been playing a 3/4 size tuba but it was time to step up to a full size tuba.

Here’s the 3/4 in December.

And here’s the full size. A bonus is that the middle school gave Quinn a key to the elevator so he could transport his new bigger tuba to and from school (only the cool kids have keys to the elevator).

A couple of weeks ago something clicked with Quinn and the tuba. He realized that he wasn’t too bad at the tuba and also that practice was no longer a chore. Plus he could play music that he liked, like the theme to Tetris.

The day of the audition arrived and Quinn was feeling really confident. He got dressed up to make a good first impression and warmed up for his audition.

Sounds coming out of the warm up room.

He went into the audition room alone and came out feeling really good. One of the judges was the director of the Westlake High School Marching Band and she told Quinn that he better join the marching band, which he plans to do. So that was a vote of confidence.

And this morning we got the good news! Quinn made the Ventura County Honor Band! So proud of this kid for working hard and really going for it.

I think back to that day when he was in 6th grade and he told us he wanted to switch to the tuba and we thought he was crazy. Turned out that it was a great decision for him. He’s come a long way since bringing home that tuba.

New Year, Many Hikes

This is our favorite time of year to hike. It’s cool and the rattlesnakes are hibernating. And we had a bunch of rain in December so the hills will start turning green.

The hike behind our house.

A foggy morning but nice and cool for hiking.

Selfie with Sonic. Happy boy.

Same hike with Don around Sunset.

Same location on different days. You can see the two palm trees in both images. In the image on the right you can actually see the Pacific Ocean way off in the distance.

Monday morning 3 mile hike with Amy at Wildwood Park which has a pretty waterfall. Just a lovely day and great way to start the week.