Joe A , Oct 21, 2009; 09:22 a.m.
You were simply coming up against the limits of what your camera and lens can do.
Here's a few things to try to improve your chances: Shoot at ISO 800 (or ISO 1600 if you won't be printing past 4x6). Shoot Aperture Priority mode at the maximum aperture of your lens (probably f/5.6). Do not use the flash (it's useless from the stands and only drains your battery and annoys your neighbors). The next step is probably a MUCH more expensive lens, so see what results you get by setting the camera up best it can for low light.