When I worked on Top 40 radio in the 90s, the phones would explode whenever we gave away tickets to Backstreet Boys or Spice Girls.

“My daughter neeeeeeeeeeds to go to the concert,” the parent would plead. “Neeeeeeeeeeds to go!” As a non-parent at the time, I didn’t understand that urge to give your children all the things all the time.  As a parent now, I get it (I bucked up big time for backstage passes for The Wild Kratts a few years back) – except those parents were often begging on behalf of 4, 5 and 7 yr olds that needed to go to concerts. I don’t get that.

Zacharie turns 10 in a few weeks and just this week saw his first concert ever. It wasn’t Bruno Mars or Ariana Grande – it was the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra doing a tribute to David Bowie.

zacharie first concert

Can I humblebrag on that for a moment? My son’s first concert was an orchestra doing Bowie. Awesome.

Zacharie is in Grade 4 and they’re starting to study orchestras in music class. He has to pick an instrument to play as a part of band class for next year, and he’s been talking about flutes and french horns and saxaphones – so I took him to see them live.

I told him how people tend to dress up for the symphony and how it’s a formal experience, so he dug out his bow tie, put on his best school sweater, and we went out for the night all suited up.

“Look Daddy,” he explained as we took our dress circle seats overlooking the stage. “All the brass are together. And there’s the strings, and the winds!”

He waved to the xylophonist practicing some scales. He watched the drummer clean his tympanis. He took my phone to take some pictures and watched as each musician came in and warmed up and got ready for the show.

calgary phil

Let’s Dance was the first number performed, and Z perched up in his seat and did a little chair dance. By the 3rd song he had his head on my lap.  When Rebel Rebel licked in, he was up again, clapping along with the crowd, but by the time Under Pressure wrapped the first half of the performance before intermission, he was ready to go home.

Zacharie has decided that he wants to play saxophone in his band class for grade 5 – an alto saxophone, to be specific, he says -and was a little disappointed this orchestra didn’t have one, but we still had fun. We got dressed up, had some ice cream, stayed out late, and celebrated a mutual love of music.

My son’s first concert was a mix of classical and classics, now that is something every parent neeeeeeeds to expose their kids to.

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