There arose such a clatter
LOS ALTOS held its 30th Festival of Lights Parade last Sunday, and as usual we were there, giving our kids a chance to stay up late and gawk at the proceedings.
At one point, as I weaved my way through the crowd in search of my family's curbside spot, a great roar went up. Drums and trumpets grew suddenly louder, announcing the approach of another marching band.
Somebody barreled past me on the sidewalk holding a stick, and atop the stick a camera was attached, pointing back at the marchers. A large group of grown-ups — presumably parents of the marchers — hurried past as well.
Finally I reached a break in the crowd, and saw what was causing all the fuss: the award-winning Mountain View High School Marching Band. They were in perfect sync, looking resplendent in Spartan black (draped in Christmas lights), and high-stepped along proudly.
No other entry in the parade, with the possible exception of Santa himself, seemed to excite the crowd so much as the Spartans.
JULIA CHENG wrote with a true Christmas story:
"Teacher Njeri McGillicuddy, long-time veteran of the Waldorf School of the Peninsula of Los Altos, will be heading a Christmas production of 'Amahl and the Night Visitors' at the Christ Episcopal Church in Los Altos on Dec. 14 and 15. The star is Collin Putnam, a 13-year-old Mountain View boy."
Cheng went on to say that "The opera reflects a very personal journey for the teacher," who now works at Njeri's Morning Glory School in San Jose. Here's the testimony from McGillicuddy herself:
"Amahl and the Night Visitors is a musical opera originally written in Italian. It was translated into French where my childhood teacher Jeannet Francsour discovered it. She later moved to Kenya to become a school teacher. She was so moved by the opera and wanted to share it with her students that she translated it into Swahili.
"I was cast in the lead rode of Amahl as a 7-year-old girl in Kenya. I did not realize I could sing or act. Ms. Francsour gave a little 7-year-old girl a chance to blossom and I ultimately did. I have never forgotten the gift she handed to me and it has been my lifelong dream to hand the gift down to another child."
So it's an honor that that child should be from Mountain View. As noted above, Collin Putnam will star as Amahl at Christ Episcopal Church, located at 1040 Border Rd. in Los Altos. Shows are Dec. 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling Njeri's Morning Glory School at (408) 255-5520.
ALSO: Mountain View darlings the Corner Laughers are playing live this Friday — in their home town! That's 8 p.m. at Dana Street Roasting Co. Do not miss your home town's smartest "indie rock" outfit.
Don Frances can be reached at email@example.com.