Hannah posing for a pic after the recital
Hannah's first piano recital was held a little over a week ago, on May 19th. There were storms brewing the in atmosphere outside. It was hot, muggy and ripe for severe weather. Everyone was on alert, but when we arrived at the church where the recital was held, it was bright and sunny out. No worries.
Hannah was excited to play her piece that she had worked so hard on all year. She knew the students were placed in random order and she was 24th of 26 students to play. Soon everyone was in their seats, surrounded by parents and grandparents and friends. Our piano teacher said a few words of welcome, and the first student came up to play. Things continued along without a hitch, but somewhere around the 15th student, the skylights at the top of the building let us know that clouds had moved in. Soon we heard the soft plink, plink of rainfall. A few more students played and then the thunder began to rumble, louder and louder it got. The rain picked up significantly, but the recital marched on. One of the dads in the audience was keeping tabs on the weather on his phone, so I knew we were okay.
Finally, the high school aged girl right before Hannah on the program list was playing her song when the tornado sirens started blaring. Our piano teacher calmly stood up and stopped the young lady in the middle of her song and announced that we would all need to head to safety. Quickly the entire audience moved into the interior hallway of the church. A few younger kids looked near tears, but most everyone was checking their phones to see where the bad weather was headed. A funnel cloud was forming a few miles west of us. Lots of people were talking, the mood in the hallway was amped up, electric.
The only thing predictable about the weather here in Oklahoma is its unpredictability. And as soon as the funnel cloud formed, it fizzled out, the wind jumping and moving over us and further north and east into Edmond. Sadly, many neighborhoods there received significant damage. Eventually the storm continued east to the town of Shawnee (a quaint college town 45 minutes east of OKC-- it's where Mike and I lived and attended Oklahoma Baptist University). There, a tornado touched down and caused massive damage to many properties, displacing families and animals and leaving a wake of destruction.
Breathing a sigh of relief that the storm had moved over us at the recital, we filed back into the auditorium and all returned to our seats. The high school girl who had been stopped mid-song was allowed to come back up and play her song through to the end. Next up was our Hannah. She had endured waiting through 23 other students, plus the chaos of a possible tornado, and now had to sit down and think straight enough to play her song. And she did! She was cool under pressure and played her song just fine.
Two more students played after Hannah and then a few awards were handed out. As we left the church building heading out to our van in the parking lot, the sun came back out. The sky returned to beautiful bright blue and we headed off to reward our girl (and her patient and supportive sister and brother) with some ice cream.
It was definitely a recital to remember.
A relieved Hannah holding up some of her awards
A sweet little brother tired of sitting still!