I was beside myself when I was in third grade because next year, I’d be taking violin lessons! I could hardly stand it. I dreamt of being one of those lithe young girls that could close her eyes while my fingers worked magic with a bow and string. Sitting First Chair because I would be that good. I would work hard to be the best violinist I could be. I’d perform in front of sold out concerts, people would stand and applaud my expertise. Unfortunately, The Brother didn’t like the idea of me being in Orchestra. The Brother was a band nerd. Seriously. I don’t think there’s a single brass instrument the boy hasn’t played. Trumpet, Tuba, Trombone. The list goes on and on. So when it came time for me to sign up for orchestra in 4th grade, The Brother said, “Absolutely not.” I’m sure his response wasn’t nearly that sophisticated and a tantrum was most likely thrown, but the answer was no. I would wait until 5th grade to take Band Class. After all, what did I expect? I did everything The Brother did, I was his shadow… his mini me. At least I could play something feminine, I could play the flute. No. I must play a clarinet. One of those instruments that makes me gag thinking about it 20 years later. A clarinet player had to suck on the reeds for what seemed an eternity before we could even play and the older the reed, the better (do you know how much old saliva is on there?). Then there was the issue of the spit trap. Oh. Must stop typing.
I played the clarinet through 5th grade and Middle School. When I got to High School I didn’t sign up for it and very shakily told Mom and Dad that I wouldn’t be taking band after my Freshman year. I don’t know what excuse I used to cease and desist playing but I don’t remember much of a scene so it must have gone okay.
Fast forward to adulthood, the stigmas of being a “band nerd” are less painful (but still funny). I have grown to admire bands. The Husband and I heard the Air Force band live at the Air & Space Museum in Washington DC many years ago and I was moved to tears. Anytime I hear a live band, I get a little excited knowing how hard they work to make so many different things happen for 3 minutes of listening enjoyment. I think my ADD and insecurities were much to great to stick to it though. Perhaps I’ll take piano lessons with my kids someday. I’ll never learn how to play piano if we don’t have kids though.
Last week, I watched in horror as the local news media showed this clip of a military band waiting to perform when a parachutist plummets from the sky into them. I guess I was right. I just shouldn’t be in a band. It’s just too dangerous.
There were some injuries and casualties (Tubas).