Archive for the Oxford Category

We went to see Livingston Taylor at the High School last night. It was nice. The last time I saw him perform was in college. We were trying to narrow the date down to something less than a 4 year window, and all I can think of was that I don’t think I went with my wife, which would make it somwhere between late ‘73 and early ‘75.

Back then, I went simply because it was something to do. As far as I can recall, I had never heard of him before, though I was a fan of his brother, James. It was probably in the Oak Room at Fairfield, and beer was probably involved as it was in most things in the Oak Room but I really don’t remember anymore. I do remember enjoying the music but never took it any further. I was more into hard rock at the time, so it was an isolated evening of entertainment.

Since then, my tastes have evolved somehat. I still enjoy Ozzie and the like, enjoy Mountain on the rare occasions some DeeJay blows the dust out, but listen to almost anything except pure CW, Hip Hop, Rap, and traditional Opera. Even some of the Hip Hop, I enjoy (not much, but some), and try to give an unbiased ear when the kids ask me to listen to something.

Last night, my daughter sat with us for the concert, and when I asked her if she liked it she said, “not really.” Actually, she was a bit more specific. Without trying to quote her, she told me that he wasn’t her kind of music, but that she thought he was incredibly talented. I like hearing that flexibility. Maybe my wife and I have taught her something after all. When I was her age, I don’t think I would have thrown in the talent part.

Back to Livingston, the music was really enjoyable. I have never purchased one of his CD’s, but will consider it. He’s similar in style to his brother, but different enough to stand out in his own rite. I always saw James as a shy performer, and I would say Livingston brought an overt approach with a light banter between songs that definitely added to the performance. To the audience, he seemed like one of us, rather than a star we were watching. He connected.

This was the first in what is envisioned as a series of concerts to benefit the new High School (and it’s new music department). I hope they do more like it. The seating was comfortable, and the acoustics were good (both firsts for Oxford), but the fact that Livingston “connected” with the audience is what I hope happens again. I guess I’m at an age where I’m not looking for the mania; I just want the relaxed connection that sees commonalities in our experience that he has an ability (gift?) to express.

Oliver! opened Friday night to a good crowd, with a line that was long enough to delay the opening. I sat backstage Friday and Saturday as the stage construction group took turns sitting out front with the families on various days. There were minor breakages to fix and tuning to do, but mostly we just sat, listened, and tried to stay out of the way of the kids changing the scenery and props. Today, my Dad came as well as my sister-in-law and her son, and we all sat in the audience.

It was a lot of fun, getting to see the kids working towards the performance and getting it done. It was also great to see the first official performance of any kind at the new high school and know that we played a small role. The kids did a great job, and we heard a lot of comments saying how much better it was than the average high school play. Tom Surat, who directed it, did a great job in bringing out the best in the kids.

It was great for the town, too, in my opinion. With all the battles and work to get a high school built, people can finally see the promise fulfilled. A lot of people came who didn’t have kids in the school. Father Dom and some of the sisters from St. Thomas were there on Friday. (more…)

The Board of Ed has asked Will to come in tonight to be recognized for the project. Not sure what it’s all about, but we’ll be there. One side note we’ve learned is that several teachers had been looking for something to use in physical therapy with some of the kids, and had been thinking about requesting a climbing wall somewhere. Seems they were quite happy to find one had become available with the completion of the project…. It will also be an interesting meeting, as it will be Nancy’s last meeting as a member of the Board of Education, having been elected to the Board of Finance in the last election.