Sunday, May 14, 2006
And I'm back! It's been a hectic few months when I didn't really feel like writing much, but I've had so many interesting experiences lately that I couldn't stay away.
I'll start with the snappy picture on the right. You can see I'm playing the trumpet again; I joined a community band in the area called the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches, a very nice and talented group of musicians. I'm standing next to Maestro Loras Schissel, a guest conductor who visited us for our Memorial Day concert, and in just two rehearsals really fine-tuned our playing.
He told me that because he has such a short time to rehearse a band he'll try and keep the band playing, while calling out his instructions over the top of the sound, like a record producer making adjustments in a studio. He's a world-renowned expert on the music of John Phillip Sousa, the"March King", and corrected a lot of common mistakes we made with the music.
The best part, though, was the two concerts we played, where all the pieces were preceded with a story about the music, or the composer, or getting the audience to sing along, or getting audience members who had served in the armed forces to stand up and be recgonized when the tune of their branch was played during our "Armed Forces Salute". I don't think there was a dull moment in the whole program, and we got 3 standing ovations before we'd even reached the finale and encores! It was a very rousing and emotional night, so thank you Loras, George and Jim for putting together such a fine program.