The big old community band put on a concert at the park last night, and we had a great time. I did, at least. We smushed all 85 of us on the stage and played our hearts out. I felt like we hardly missed a beat, except for the occasional something that fell into a rest now and then.
I know I like to make fun of this band (thus the title of this post), but I really think we're improving with each season. And there are some brilliant individual musicians in each section. Maybe it's the overall atmosphere of the group that makes me think we could set fire to Carnegie Hall just by walking in the front door. Maybe I equate this band with a bulldozer because we have a trombone section that laughs and talks during concerts and does everything but reenact Animal House in their back row. When one of them is announced as being part of an ensemble that's about to perform something nice, they all bark by shouting, "Woof! Woof! Woof!" And the conductor just smiles. I think he's going a tad deaf.
The other night, the conductor was scolding some of the younger members for their lackadaisical approach to attending rehearsals. He referred to the local orchestra conductor and said, "HE would never put up with that," and suggested he shouldn't have to put up with that either.
I'm not sure what the orchestra conductor would do if faced with this big band of noisy people all playing too loud and too fast, or sometimes too slow, regardless of notations on the page. And I don't know how he'd react when startled by the high-pitched whistling that only that disgusting pig of a man in the back row can produce—he does that during Dixieland Jazz Funeral. He might pee his pants, or he might have a high time.
Either way, our band director seems to be handling this mob just fine, and those kids he complains about are sitting next to some darn good players who will whip them into shape just by example. That's the joy of a community band, one that is beginning to feel like family more and more with each season.
Let's just say that nasty whistling pig is the unsavory uncle you keep in the back room and only introduce to guests when absolutely forced.