Cody Needham: Rock Star

Our son Cody has been taking guitar lessons at School or Rock in Champions Forest this year. He is getting the best guitar instruction there that he's ever gotten since he started playing guitar years ago.

Yesterday he played in School of Rock's teen band at a local bar/restaurant, District 249 up in Tomball. The band is called Grunge. Carolyn and I attended, as did Bailey, and also our great friends the Linmans. Grunge has been working so hard, practicing hours on end, together and on their own, for months, and they played seven songs yesterday. They were really terrific. 

Below are the videos of the band's performance. Stick around to the end, or scroll down there, because Cody had a solo on Zombie by The Cranberries. 

 

John P. Needham

May 14, 2017

10:43AM

Spring, TX

Klein Oak Mariachi Band

Klein Oak Mariachi Band

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The Klein Oak HS Mariachi Band - a student run organization, mind you - played in a concert with the KO Jazz Band last night, and I was fortunate enough to attend both, since Bailey plays with the Mariachi Band.

The concert was outstanding. The Jazz Band played a half-dozen terrific pieces, I was amazed at the talent and the obvious hard work of these student musicians.

Since Bailey plays with the Mariachi Band, on a lark I videoed the two pieces with my new phone, and uploaded those to my You Tube channel. Those two videos are below.

First the Mariachi Band played La Bamba:

Klein Oak Mariachi Band, La Bamba, May 8, 2017

The second piece they played was Guadalajara:

Klein Oak Mariachi Band, Guadalajara, May 8, 2017

I think they were terrific. It was a lot of fun watching them play.

John P. Needham

May 9, 2017

8AM

Spring, TX

Fifteen

This young man turns 15 today. 

Next up will be drivers ed, a driving permit, and eventually, driving all on his own. He is super excited for that.

And Carolyn, Bailey and I could not be more proud of this young man, and the man he is growing into. 

John P. Needham

May 1, 2017

Spring, TX

Sixteen

Sixteen

Wow. John Bailey Needham turned sixteen yesterday. Naturally, that means it is time to post some new images.

Here he is at sixteen. 

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I stiched a few images together to post to FB so here are those now too.

 

And this one...

 

Finally, this last image - Carolyn made her chocolate chip cheesecake with caramel topping. This was at the request of the birthday boy.

 

Bay had a good day. But us, his parents, wow. We could not be more proud of the young man that Bailey has become, and continues to grow into. 

John P. Needham

Spring, TX

January 13, 2017

Region Band Concert - December 10, 2016

Region Band Concert - December 10, 2016

As many already know from my excessive social media sharing, our 15YO high-school sophomore, Bailey, was awarded a chair in the wind ensemble in the Region 9 (Texas) band. (This was following two rounds of Region Band auditions.)

Last Friday night they had a three hour practice, followed by 8+ hours on Saturday. Aftter just that practice, the band had a concert last Saturday night. I'm not sure I can adequately express how proud we were of Bailey - and of his bandmates here. They learned these five songs in just a few hours of practice, then played a concert at Klein Forest High School. 

The band performed under the direction of Richard Floyd, in his 53rd year of music direction, and who is currently the director of the Austin Symphonic Band.

The first piece they played was This Broad Earth by Steven Bryant (4:47 video):

The 2016 Region Band (Region 9) Wind Ensemble, conducted by Richard Floyd. "This Broad Earth" by Steven Bryant. Performed December 10, 2016 at Klein Forest High School.

Then Mr. Floyd spoke for a few minutes (2:58):

The 2016 Region Band (Region 9) Wind Ensemble, conducted by Richard Floyd. This is comments by the conductor Richard Floyd. Performed December 10, 2016 at Klein Forest High School.

The next piece was Sleep, by Eric Whitacre (4:51):

The 2016 Region Band (Region 9) Wind Ensemble, conducted by Richard Floyd. "Sleep" by Eric Whitacre. Performed December 10, 2016 at Klein Forest High School.

Then the band played Dancing on Water, by Frank Ticheli (8:57). This was a piece Bailey really enjoyed learning and playing.

The 2016 Region Band (Region 9) Wind Ensemble, conducted by Richard Floyd. "Dancing on Water" by Frank Ticheli. Performed December 10, 2016 at Klein Forest High School.

Then the band played a set from Leonard Bernstein (and other composers, 4:27):

The 2016 Region Band (Region 9) Wind Ensemble, conducted by Richard Floyd. "The Bernstein Set" Bernstein/Krance & Bernstein/Sweeney. Performed December 10, 2016 at Klein Forest High School.

They closed with a song called Zing by Scott McAllister (6:06):

The 2016 Region Band (Region 9) Wind Ensemble, conducted by Richard Floyd. "Zing" by Scott McAllister. Performed December 10, 2016 at Klein Forest High School.

John P. Needham

Spring, TX

December 13, 2016

6:06AM

Klein Oak Band - Winter Concerts, December 6, 2016

Cody (freshman) is in Concert Band this year. Here is one of the pieces that the Concert Band played at the winter concert. (This is the only piece Cody played in.) Cody on percussion.

Hypnotic Fireflies, performed by Klein Oak Concert Band, December 6, 2016.

Bailey (sophomore) is in Klein Oak's Wind Ensemble. Here is their set from the winter concert. The set includes two songs - A Holiday Rhapsody, and Sleigh Ride - and between the song is the band director Mr. Clearwater's comments, and the student recognition. (Students were recognized for Region Band auditions, for getting a chair in Region Band, and for qualifying for the Area Band auditions.)

Both pieces, A Holiday Rhapsody and Sleigh Ride, along with Mr. Clearwater's comments and the student recognition.

John P. Needham

December 8, 2016

6:20AM

Spring, TX

 

Etudes - December 2016

I shared this over the weekend, but for the sake of posterity: Bailey played trumpet in the Texas Region 9 band auditions on Saturday. He advanced. Definitely worth noting that the top-two trumpeters in Region 9 are from the same school as Bailey. We've said all along that the kids here are getting an exceptional education, especially a fine arts education, at Klein Oak. This is further evidence of that. Mr. Clearwater and his team? Really outstanding.

Region Band Audition Results

Region Band Audition Results

For Klein Oak (HS) band, Bailey had to record the three etudes that were used to judge the auditions. Since he had to do that anyway, I figured it would be worth it to preserve them on You Tube. So, below, here are the three etudes, as performed by Bailey. He did great. 

Thanksgiving, 2016

Salute 2016

We hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving. We certainly did. We are very fortunate, and we know that. We're grateful for everything we have. 

We had two turkeys yesterday, had some great friends over, and ate more than anyone really should. 

Now, with Thanksgiving behind us, we look forward to the rest of 2016, and we look forward to whatever 2017 will bring us.

John P. Needham

November 25, 2016

9:42AM

Spring, TX

World Series Champs

So, yes. The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series. Obviously, we're pretty happy about that.

It was very cool to watch the games - especially Game 7 - with my two sons. We had some Chicago-style hot dogs for dinner as the game was starting, trying to send some good mojo to the Cubs, playing in Cleveland, by way of Spring, TX.

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Also obviously, being long-suffering Cubs fans, it was a little bittersweet. Many die-hard Cubs fans have left this earthly plane since the last time the Cubs hoisted a World Series trophy. Whole generations have come and gone since then.

In addition to my kids, and myself, I was very happy for a handful of Cubs fans I've known my whole life, fans who lived a LONG time without seeing this, but got to see it last night. Aunt Kathleen in California, my ol' man's little sister; her brother Mike, my uncle, and Aunt Boots. My dad's brother Jack and his wife, Aunt Agnes, who still live in a bungalow on Chicago's northwest side. My ma's sister, Aunt Betty, who lives in the Chicago suburbs. 

So while Patrick and Marion, and Jerry and Phelim, Abmrose, and so many others cheered from heaven, I'm glad there were a few old-timers left who got to see this, to experience it, last night.

Watching the series with my sons was special, particularly last night's game, an extra-inning, rain-delayed thriller. Thinking of family, life-long Cubs fans, being able to watch the same thing in far-flung places, made the experience all the more special.

Baseball truly does span generations, and even if the Cubs never win another playoff series - I hope they do, mind you! - I'll always be glad that they won last night. And I'll always be glad that these people got to experience it.

John P. Needham

Spring, TX

November 3, 2016

Also some random dog images.....

....plus a few others from yesterday. I am just practicing with my big lens.

Rose The Hound laying in the dirt.

Rose The Hound laying in the dirt.

Rose The Hound

Rose The Hound

Rose The Hound

Rose The Hound

Jill The Hound

Jill The Hound

Jill The Hound

Jill The Hound

One of Carolyn's succulents in a pot.

One of Carolyn's succulents in a pot.

Avocado tree leaves.

Avocado tree leaves.

First Day of School - August 2016

First day of sophomore year, for Bailey.

First day of high school, for Cody.

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Both sporting their Chicago sports affiliations. We're pretty proud about that.

John P. Needham

Spring, TX

August 22, 2016