Recital Prep … the countdown!

Our year-end recital is in T-minus 8 days & I am in full-on prep mode!  It’s a busy time of year for everyone & there are a lot of things to get ready beforehand.  So, after I realized (once again) that my stressing wasn’t solving anything … I made a list!  And, then I got the biggest items done over the first week.  I was crazy tired by the end, but I am quite sure my shoulders dropped a good 3 inches.  🙂

Yesterday morning,  I had a beautiful view as I drove to work!  The sight of the mountains & all the greenery on the plains always brings a smile to my face.  Don’t you love summer?

Calgary NW.JPG

Recital Goodies …

Here is what my prep list included …

  • Recital invite & program
  • Gift bags …
    • Jam & soft spread with printed labels
    • S’more kits for each student
    • Labels for each family bag
    • Handwritten card for each family
  • Comment card packages for recital day
  • Miscellaneous (food, drinks, etc.)

Recital Invitation & Program:

I opted for more of a spring feel this year to the invitation.  It was designed using Canva (an online design tool) & then emailed invitations to each family.

4th Annual Spring Concert (copy).jpg

For the recital program, I opted to take some of the same font elements & incorporate them into the actual program.  The first picture is the front & back cover.  The second picture is the inside pages.

MLM Spring Recital Program (1).jpg

MLM Spring Recital Program (2).jpg

As you may notice, I’ve included details about comment cards in the program.  Susan Hong created beautiful comment cards for Wendy over at ComposeCreate.  I highly recommend both Wendy’s article about using comment cards at her recital & Susan’s wonderfully designed cards.  At this point, I am creating packages of cards for each attendee so they can write (or draw for the ones too little to write) something nice for each performer.  This is a new activity for the recital which will be handed out during final lesson.

Where to get supplies:

  • Canva:  There are so many great templates, tutorials, & free items available, this is my  go-to site for designing almost everything.

Jam & Soft Spread/Glaze:

For those of you who like making your own preserves, this section is for you!  I like making preserves for my clients because it is easy to make big batches & they make wonderful presents for Christmas & the end of the school year.  For those really busy times of the year, having ready-to-go gifts is invaluable.  Plus, our boys LOVE the jam, jelly, pickles (zucchini & watermelon rind) … actually, they love eating (almost) everything I preserve.  Eating, I’ve been told, is their favourite school subject.  Sigh.

This year, I made:

  • Spiced Blackberry Jam:  Perfect for breakfast or on top of desserts in the late fall & winter
    • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of allspice & 1/2 tsp cinnamon added to each batch of basic blackberry jam
  • Sweet ‘n Spicy Peach Soft Serve / Glaze:.Will make a great accompaniment with cheese or glazed on BBQ chicken or veggies
    • The original recipe called for 3 jalapenos … I reduced it to only 1.  Even after doubling the pectin, it still did not set like jam so I’m calling it a glaze.  (Don’t you love when it’s such an easy fix?)

By using a printable kraft brown oval label, it was easy & quick to create home-crafted labels (apparently, this is very different than homemade).  Once they were printed, I set up a quick assembly line with my husband to get the labels affixed.

The jam was 1 day of prep, but I was excited to have over 50 jars of gifts & felt it was well worth the effort.  Granted, I also slept for 11 hours that night which I haven’t done since before I had children.  Perhaps this could have been spread out over 2 days.  🙂

Where to get supplies:

  • Canning jars & lids:
    • You can get these almost anywhere right now
      • The price is around $8 – $12 for a 12-jar case.
      • I happen to like the Bernardin 250mL jars for jams/jellies/soft spread.
      • 2-piece lid sets are around $5.
      • A set of lids (without the bands) is approximately $3.50 – $4.
  • Labels:
    • Avery Print-to-the-Edge Oval Labels 1.5″ x 2.5″: Kraft Brown (Avery 24487)
    • Used these labels for the preserves & the gift bags

S’more Kits:

After much research online, I opted for the S’mores kits.  They were super cute & only took a few hours to assemble.  Much like the preserves, I set things up like an assembly line so that once the initial kits were created it was smooth sailing.

I used a smaller box than what was shown in the linked article which added a little bit of time to the process since I had to breakdown each take-out box, cut out a circle, glue the cellophane & then reassemble.  While I got really fast at it by the end, you can save a lot of time by either not have a window into the box or using a cellophane bag with a ribbon.  Both would still look great.

Where to get supplies:

  • Michael’s:  15% discount given (with an Albert Teacher’s Association card)
    • 3″ x 3″ x 4″ take-out boxes (come in sets of 7)
    • cellophane (for window into box)
    • shredded paper (craft brown)
  • Any copy centre
    • Labels were printed on card stock.

Putting it all together

This is what the various components look like.


Where I got everything …

  • Gift bag & tissue paper:  
    • Dollarama (any dollar store would work)… They seem to have the best selection for the most reasonable price (between $1-1.50/bag).  I ensure the bag came with a reinforced bottom for heavier items.
  • Labels:
    • Avery Print-to-the-Edge Oval Labels 1.5″ x 2.5″: Kraft Brown (Avery 24487)
    • Purchased at Staples … cost $19
    • Used these labels for the preserves & the gift bags

The final product (with labels turned the other direction for privacy) …


What do you have on your recital prep list?

While recitals are a LOT of work (both before & during), it is wonderful to see everyone’s smiling faces as we celebrate together.  I would love to hear how you prepare for recitals & the projects that you do annually to make your recitals a success.

Have a great weekend!

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