One Perfect Moment

So I totally meant for this post to build up to the big announcement – but you know what? I can’t wait to shout this from the rooftops!! Manasi is going to be the Queen for Dunlap High School 2022 Madrigals Knight!!! Starting as a totally green Freshman to Queen – what an absolutely perfect ending to an incredible journey!!

In hindsight, that magical first Madrigals year – we were so lucky to have that opportunity! A short couple of months later, the world as we know it went completely off-kilter – everything came to a grinding halt, and all musical activity was suspended. That following summer, choir auditions were by appointment only – and selections were made with no guarantees if the performance would even take place. Undaunted, Ms. R put together a plan – and although school was online, in-person Madrigals rehearsals started in August 2020. The caveat – rehearsals had to be outdoors, and all kids had to wear masks. Even when the temperatures dropped, the kids kept at it – with space heaters, blankets, and hot cocoa provided by Ms. R. Trying to find a new normal in this bizarre world, the kids inspired us all with their dedication and optimism!

Of course, from the get-go it was clear that the regular Madrigal dinner in the castle was not going to be possible. The next best option was to have the performance on stage – even with the number of people restricted to under 50 in the auditorium, at least the parents would be able to see the kids perform live. Like the previous year, we volunteered to build the ‘castle’ – well, the castle walls were only setup as a backdrop on the stage – nothing like the lavish sets of the previous year! And then another twist in the tale – the 2nd shutdown was declared to be in effect on the date of the very first performance! Ms. R pivoted impressively to meet this new challenge – and decided that the kids would perform, with the show being recorded instead. No matter what, the show must go on! Can’t even imagine how tough it must have been for the Seniors and their parents!

For Manasi’s Junior year, auditions were still by appointment – but when the school year rolled around – the parents unanimously voted for a return to normal! Kids went back to school, albeit with masks! It was a surprise to realize that Manasi, with her third year, was one of the more experienced members – and one of the few who had participated in a regular ‘castle’ Madrigal Knight! More of a surprise – I was one of the more experienced parents – and I found myself the chair of the Commons committee! This year also marked the 20th anniversary of Madrigals at Dunlap High School – an incredible milestone for Ms. R! The only thing different was the food – with only the cheese platter being served at the table, and the dessert provided in to-go boxes. It was a wonderful performance – and it was so great to be back in the castle!

Before we knew it, auditions had rolled around again. This time was bitter-sweet – as Manasi and I both realized that this was the last time she would be auditioning for DHS choirs – the cover picture is filling out the application form. With Senior year coming up fast, this was the first of the lasts – and I don’t think any of us are prepared for this. Manasi usually picks her audition song with the help of her voice teacher, KJ – and her selection this time literally brought me to tears. She had picked the song ‘One Perfect Moment’ from the musical ‘Bring It On’ – and the lyrics were oh so perfect..

“I know that if I can just stick the landing
Then I’ll know that somehow my life will be fine
And I’ll go through the rest of my life understanding
What it feels like to shine
The future’s full of mysteries
So please let this be mine
My one perfect moment in time”

All the hard work of the last 3 years, coming down to this one last moment – one last perfect moment! Manasi claimed that she wasn’t really thinking about the lyrics, she just likes that particular song – so I’ll chalk it up to serendipity – but I can’t imagine a better song for her final Madrigals audition!

The rest, of course, is history. She did stick the landing, and that perfect moment is hers! I don’t think it has sunk in completely for her – although she has been hoping for this for so long! With the crown will come additional responsibilities – and I’m looking forward to seeing her step up and lead – after all, these last 3 years, she has learned from the best!! I think back to that nervous Freshman and the awesome upperclassmen (and women) who put her at ease, mentored her and helped her to get here – and my heart is filled with gratitude! And Ms. R – what can I say? DHS students are truly fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented music director! It’s going to be great year for sure – and making it even more special, Manasi’s cousin, Y is a part of the Madrigal crew this year – keeping the Madrigal tradition strong in the Kulkarni family!

So, ready or not – here she comes – the Madrigal Queen!!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Janardan Kulkarni says:

    Yes, when we got the news about our Manasi having got selected as Queen; it was indeed a great moment for all of us at home. We all in Kulkarni Family feel very proud of her achievement. The audition clip sent clearly proves that the judges did full justice to Manasi. She will surely prove them right in her new role as Queen.
    Gauri, your narration of the journey you all went through Covid time has been superb. Sounds like a travel through a rough & tough winter and finally reaching the beautiful spring time with well grown roses and Sun flowers tossing their heads merrily in the bright sunshine.
    It was a pleasure reading. 🌹🌹👍👍


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