Friday, August 10, 2007

Summer Chops

So I haven't done a ton this week off but I had plans last night that the closer they got the more nervous I got. I was invited by a couple different people to attend the "Summer Chops" jam session at Meadowlands Corps. I figured this would be good to do for a few reasons:
1) I really love playing and have really missed it.
2) If I'm going to teach music I'd like to actually practice what I preach and encourage kids to play as much as possible.
3) I have to go to Kitchener in a couple weeks and do the same type of thing - a read through session - where I play through some new music from a music store and then I let the dept head know what I like and he buys that for the fall (which by the way is so cool to me - it actually feels like I have a grown up job!) and I wanted to be at least warmed up for that.

So I dropped of Rich at his Mom's for a visit and I headed over to the church to play. There were around 50 people there - it was one large band. I didn't realize in advance what kinds of people were going to be there. There were some great musicians that I was fully embarrassed would be hearing me after my ummm "break" from playing over the last while. It was on the way there Rich and I figured out my "break" lasted 4 years. I was completely out of shape. I did do a bit of practicing in the week leading up to it but nothing too heavy, just making sure I remembered how to play! They pulled out some crazy hard music. It was great. The worst part was lots of it was still in manuscript form (handwritten instead of computer generated - stuff scratched out all over the place - so hard to read at times) and that was challenging.

At every new section in a band piece there is often a letter. This makes it easier than saying "start at bar 45" and everyone counting - you can just say letter C for example. At one point we had a piece that went all the way up to section Z. We did at least one piece that was 5 pages long, and one piece that the recording is over 7 minutes long. The rehearsal went from 7:30pm till about 10:05 with a 5 minute break or so. I played pitifully but my lips actually held up until about 9:58 which wasn't too bad for my first night out.

I had a lot of fun. In band situations I'd rather be one of the worst people in the band than the best. If you are the best in the band it usually means you're bored, so I am fully ok with being the worst for now. Hopefully I'll end up improving with some much needed practice, but as long as I always enjoy playing that's what's important. It was a nice night to see some old friends and family and just enjoy the music that God has blessed us with...even the crappy sounds coming out of my cornet.


At 8:24 AM, Blogger miranda said...

sounds fun and exciting jaci!!

good for you lasting that long and i like your perspective on wanting to need practice vs. being bored!

I played the french horn in grade nine so we should jam sometime! (haha! that's sarcasm!)


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