Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I'm Flat and I Can't Get Up

Tonight I joined a band. A community band of posh community X, just east of posh community Y, which has the almost exact same name, but is made distinct because it has the big mall, just north of me. As far as I can tell, this town is about one square mile big and it still ranks a "city" park complete with stage on the second floor of the community building. Anyway, it's weird. Driving back behind the town homes and the lawyers' and dentists' offices to have band practice. It just seems unnatural.

Suprisingly un-posh fellow band members include music teachers, college students, musicians trying to keep up (like me), the 80 year old guy who sticks all of the cork on his bass clarinet into his mouth at once before he puts it together (ew), and the french horn player who whipped his spit-valve so hard that a big old band loogie landed right on my neck (double ew) and who I suspect is the assistant director. (ick, I'm still reeling from that one.)

There will now be four flautists, me humbly residing in fourth chair (since I apparently have no embouchure after 10 years of neglect) and the following personalities I will get to know better each Tuesday:
  • Chair one is a very nice lady with very thick glasses, who, when sharing her holiday news of a daughter's engagement, was extra glad because you know, she's the horsey one.
  • Chair two was absent, but the seat was reserved for a woman who also plays piccolo, so maybe I'll give her a run for her money when we inevitably play "Stars and Stripes Forever" for the July 4th concert.
  • Chair three was a very nice girl who just so happens to work for a music shop that could just, you know, fix that flute right up for ya, since she works there and all. It'll cost more than my dad paid for it in 4th grade, but I suspect that will be the cheapest repair bill in a two-hour radius.
Plus, I'd really like to hear e-natural again. I rather like e-natural.

The director was the requisite round, sweaty, loud man who barked when the band was out of tune during warm-up, but then gave us only one tuning note to remedy this. (I therefore spent the rest of the practice only pretending to play any note in the upper register because I knew that it was so we were all so out of tune it would make my hair pop into split ends if I contributed to the madness.) His directing style was something that I would call epileptic-airplane ground crew guidance agent. Even if you don't understand the general hand-waving that is keeping time as a director, you should know that down equals count 1. Our fair director would tend to wave out something like 1,1,1, seizure, 4, 1,1,3,4,1,1,seizure, seizure,1.

I was somewhat lost for a majority of the practice.

I suspect that next week's practice will be just as exciting. Cross your fingers for me.
Oh, and let me know now if you want tickets to the concert. The band only gets 75 tickets and you know, we gotta let the director know in advance.

1 comment:

SP said...

Hey, is the french horn player hot? After all, you've already shared bodily fluids.

I'm glad you are playing again. Everyone needs a band geek in their life and you've always been mine.