Today’s Photo Friday theme is music. I don’t really have many pictures of music, so I decided to share a blast from the past:
As you may or may not know, I am a life-long band geek. Despite that, I skipped my high school’s annual fine arts awards banquet every year. I didn’t letter my freshman year, and I never really saw the point of going, anyway, when I could just collect everything the next day in band.
But my senior year, my teacher suggested I attend. My graduation reception was the same day, but later in the afternoon, and I had planned to go to my best friend’s reception before mine (hers was scheduled for the same time as the awards banquet). I asked if I had to go, and he said I should, so I did.
I showed up and sat through the choir and drama and speech awards, bored stiff because I didn’t participate in any of those. They finally got to the band awards and when they announced the qualifications for the John Philip Sousa Band Award, I picked two of my classmates as the likely contenders.
Imagine my surprise when I won the award.
Of all the awards I won in high school, this is the one I’m proudest of. I worked hard in band, and I loved every minute of it. Except for marching band – I didn’t learn to appreciate what I had when it came to that until I no longer had it. I would love to see one of my kids win this award one day, but that’s up to them. I want them to love it as much as I did.
What are some of your favorite musical memories? Don’t forget to stop by Charnele’s blog and check out her post!
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7 thoughts on “Photo Friday: A musical flashback”
I was once pretty good with a trumpet. One day the headmaster asked me to play before the whole school. Despite being nervous I did and was halfway through a particularly difficult piece which required me to do some triple tonguing (which is not rude but playing three times faster than normal) when I bashed the mouthpiece against my lip and split it open. I loved it all up to that point but couldn’t play again for three months as a result.
Oh, yikes! That would hurt. I once tried to have a flute lesson the day after having a tooth pulled. My lips were still numb, so you can imagine how well that worked out.
I didn’t do a lot of triple tonguing in my flute-playing days, but I did once try to learn the piccolo in a week because my teacher needed a piccolo player to play “The Stars and Stripes Forever” for a Memorial Day parade one time. The fingering is the same as for the flute, but your embochure has to be much smaller, and that’s what tripped me up. I couldn’t keep my lips far enough apart, so instead of getting pretty music, I got a load of raspberries.
I remember. Every time I tried to play the trumpet or my cornet, and I had a Flugelhorn, it sounded like a trouser accident. I sold them all shortly after and went on to the guitar, which didn’t require a lot of lip work unless I was cursing myself for not finding those pesky chords. I still have it thirty years later, a genuine US Fender Strat. I’ll wait another decade or so then sell it for a lot of money.
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I still have both of my flutes (the one I learned on and the one that replaced it seven years later), and I would like to get a piccolo someday. If I had more than a week, I’m sure I could get the hang of it. Of course, then I’d have to practice that solo, just to prove to myself that I could do it (and well) again.
I did actually play it once, but it was on my flute instead of on the piccolo. One year in band we played a mash-up of “Jingle Bells” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever” that was dubbed “Jingle Bells Forever” (creative sorts, weren’t they?). 🙂 The entire flute section had to get up in front of everyone and play the piccolo solo. By some coincidence, we all wore the same thing that evening: red long-sleeved shirts and black dress pants. Our school didn’t have band uniforms for concert appearances, only for marching band, and we never wore our marching uniforms for concert performances, so it was kind of funny to have one section all wearing the same thing.
I could never have played with anyone else. I don’t know why because I could have hidden my mistakes.
I played a duet once with a friend of mine for a competition. She lost her place in the music and completely stopped playing, but I kept right on going. Eventually, she found her place again and joined back in. We managed to pull a blue ribbon out of the performance because I played on.
That was what my teacher always said “no matter what kind of pig’s ear you make of the piece, always, always keep going.” he was right.
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