Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sometimes You Win, And Sometimes...

I had two band concerts over the weekend, one in the sweltering heat with sweat dripping down my back so that by the end of the evening, I could wring out my sporty black trousers into a puddle. Sorry, but those were the circumstances. There was a bald clarinet player directly across from me actually wearing a sweat band on his head like he was in a tennis match, it was that bad. Despite the weather, we played well—the band played well, and I played well with my second horn part. Didn't miss a pitch or an entrance, and I enjoyed the music. A winner.

And then there was the concert on Sunday. For the first time, the band played at an outdoor amphitheater here, one that was built for performances of Trumpet in the Land, a play about the Delaware Indians who lived in Ohio in the 1700s. They were converted to Christianity by David Zeisberger, a Moravian missionary, but in 1782, 96 members of the tribe were massacred by the British. The play runs throughout the summer, and on off weekends, the amphitheater is used for other productions.

This is what the seating section looks like from the stage floor—it was early, so not many people had arrived yet.

This is what the band looks like as members get organized and take their seats.

This is a behind-the-scenes look at a fireplace used in the play and where we stored our cases during the concert.

And this is what I saw from my seat in the horn section.

The weather was much more tolerable this time around, but that only meant we all concentrated a little less. Plus, we were in an unusual setting, one with odd acoustics. Plus, I just plain sucked. I started off by dumping my entire folder of music all over the stage floor as I was setting up, and it only got worse from there. I missed pitches, missed entrances and didn't really enjoy the experience. I would feel inferior except I heard from more accomplished musicians who said they had a similar experience. It was just an off night. Not a winner.

You just can never tell from night to night what a performance will be like. We could do that same concert in the same setting again tonight and make a splash. Or we could do it all over again and completely fall off the stage. Go figure.

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