Sunday, August 20, 2006

Did I say "Please, God, no rain"?

I believe I did, and with the exception of a powerful but brief outburst in the afternoon, the day was delightful. And the humidity cleared just in time for my delightful concert in the park. Delightful, I said, now three times because it really was.

At the concert in the park, we played about an hour and 20 minutes--the finale to Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony, a couple big band numbers, Figaro, a Sinatra number, and then of course God Bless the USA. Whatever, even with that stupid thing, it was so much fun. No wait, it was DELIGHTFUL. My mother and daughters were in the audience, too, and my mother loved the salute to Spike Jones.

Then everyone packed up the truck, cleared the stage, and rushed down town for the second round. The Long Night of Music stage was huge--large enough, at least, to hold the Cleveland Orchestra--so I knew it wouldn't collapse under the weight of an 80-piece band and all of its crap. It seemed a little odd to schedule our group in the midst of different rock bands. One hour, a 7-piece classic rock band played, then they cleared off for us. Then we were followed by more small groups. You really couldn't be too focused on any particular genre to be part of the audience for the entire evening.

Anyway, back to the stage. It was portable with a canvas cover and colored lights (also odd for a community band who plays things like salutes to Spike Jones). At this one, we did more big band and Figaro again because people like it, and then we did some other things--Shenandoah, Amazing Grace, and Italian Polka. Just can't get away from that Italian stuff. We should have finished by 9:45, but Director Fred was just glowing. He looked around at the lights and the crowd and got this little-boy grin. "What are they gonna do? Kick us off?" he said. And we kept playing until 10. Very cool. Very satisfying. Very delightful. I want to do it again.

But we're finished for the season, and the orchestra doesn't start until Labor Day. Enough time to rest the chops, I guess.

On the drive home, I was thinking about how I approached these concerts when I first started playing six years ago. I aimed to play 70% of the notes and rhythm's correctly. If I could play at least that well, then I'd be happy. Now, I shoot for 90 to 95%, and I think I pulled it off last night. I was DELIGHTED with myself.

Another thing, on the way back to my car after round-two, needy-teenager-friend ran after me and walked with me for the block or two to the parking lot. And then I gave her a full-body hug (with no pelvic thrust, Jason, in case you were wondering), which she initiated.

So, the evening was good. Satisfying. Delightful.

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