I don't have much going on this week, but one thing I'm busy doing is band. AND how. There is a great concert band in Canton, about 30 miles from Small Town, that is short of horn players this week. Everyone is either sick or on vacation, so the manager scrambled to find replacements, and I got a call. Yay.
The woman suggested I might play fourth horn, and I was fine with that. You can sit at the end of the row, play your part, mind your own business and go home at the end without a care in the world, at least with the relatively simple music the bands plays. They only have one rehearsal per concert, so they typical choose easier pieces they can play well without much effort. Nothing ever works out the way you expect, as we all know, so when I arrived at rehearsal Tuesday evening, I shouldn't have been surprised when the manager handed me the folder for the first part. Well, OK then.
I sat down and introduced myself to the other horn players and immediately exchanged the typical neurotic statements horn players exchange upon meeting—I'm more of a singer than a horn player, so I'm sorry for any mistakes I might make. I've been out of town a lot lately and am out of shape, so sorry for what comes out of my bell. I'm nine months pregnant, so off beats are real challenge with all of that pushing...—we're an odd bunch, and it's important to lower expectations right away.
I was a little self-conscious after rehearsal because that's the way I am, but I was excited to take my seat last night for the concert in the park. I arrived early, so I sat quietly and fidgeted, looking over the music and fingering through the brief solo in Salvation is Created. The announcer, who also plays low brass something or other, announced it was the birthday of one of the clarinet players, a man he said had been playing for 105 years. A little combo of two tubas, a trumpet, and a clarinet played a sort of Dixieland "Happy Birthday," and we all applauded, and then back to fidgeting.
And then an old guy from the trumpet section behind me tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around, and he said he and his fellow trumpet players were listening to me play the night before, and they really liked my playing. They just wanted to say "good job" and welcome. Is that nice, or what?!
Thank you, old guy trumpet player, because you made me relax and play my heart out for our little show. The threat of rain cut the concert short, but it was fun anyway. Here is Salvation Is Created as performed by the Motor City Brass Band—lovely:
Tonight, I'll attend the weekly rehearsal for the Big Fat Summer Band I normally play with, and then we'll give a concert Saturday evening at a festival in the next town. And then we'll play again at an outdoor amphitheater Sunday evening. Band band band band band. But I don't mind. In fact, I love it, and doing nothing but playing in Band Week is all right with me.