Red Carpet MisIdentity

This past Saturday I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the performance of the Red Carpet Honor Band…a big deal for the band students of NW Oklahoma, and they did beautifully. While there, listening to the Jr. High B band rock out superhero themes (My favorite song out of all three performances, truth be told), I was inspired to write the following short paragraph. I don’t know if this will be used in a book or short story later on, or if I will continue to let it stand on its own. Either way, it happened.

It wasn’t my friend. It was some junior high child with the right build and a slouch. That chin rubbing idiosyncrasy that only the one man had ever possessed? The first meager sprouting of a baby faced beard.

But, he played the trombone, so that was solidarity enough…I can’t believe I’m that old now.

Musical Quandry

I will admit something to you, something that is a deep and well engrained piece of my psyche – I am a band nerd. I do not say this with shame, like some people would as they snatch away old pictures and wave it all away. No, I say this pride and a little bit of cockiness, I Am A BAND NERD! I love to play, I even loved to march, and I love seeing, and hearing, all of the different bands from young children learning, to high school honors, and on up to the collegiate and professional worlds.

Last night I was excited to attend a concert, my first after coming back ‘home,’ that included the choirs and both the concert and jazz bands from our local college. Having been a proud Ranger Band member (RIDE RANGERS RIDE!) and a music major for almost an entire year, I was interested to see what the ‘new guy’ had accomplished this semester. I would just like to say, the choir was amazing.

The small town in Texas that I grew up in did not offer choir, and I can’t carry a tune in a bucket unless you hand me an instrument, so I never tried out for choir. When I moved into a high school that offered the option, I quickly learned something that has turned out to be almost universal, we have issues! With the exception of a few that walk the line between the groups, band kids and choir kids have a rivalry that spans the years and budget, and we blame each other for almost everything.

I mention that to tell you this, the North Western Oklahoma State University Choir did exactly what they set out to do last night, they filled the auditorium, and those of us within it, with the resonating beauty of their voices and rejuvenated my inner muse so that I was busy writing as soon as intermission began.
Then there was the band. Now I know that I am incredibly biased. When I was in band, we were a family. To quote a great a movie, “One Band, One Sound!”.  Added to that and probably the cause of it, I had two of the most amazing band directors any student could ever ask for. I was pushed, taught, praised, tuned, and occasionally grounded by two men whose love of their students was surpassed by their love of music. There won’t be many who I feel live up to those I was blessed enough to learn under.

However, the facts are that the band has dropped to a sad few and is being treated as a beginner group by their director. Both of the groups were excessively tuned on stage beforehand, something that I had not seen in a concert since my early junior high years, and they were still having difficulties. Part of this was answered when we learned that at least two of the students had not been in a band before, an admission made when the director handed out awards as if they were in high school band. On the whole, I am so much of a band nerd that I feel embarrassed for them. But the choir was lovely.

May they all find their place and pull together to form the type of band family that once called the Fine Arts building its home, and may you all be blessed by music and love today, and every day.