Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I got the music in me...

The Rev. alluded to me having to possibly curtail my music activities with the arrival of a child. The interesting story is that I actually have curtailable music activities.

For those of you who don't know, I am a member of a mid-Missouri singing group (and a damn good one, if I may say so). But singing isn't where I originally got seriously into music. I went to my first college on a tuba scholarship, and it was because I played tuba in The Band in Atlanta that the Rev. and I met. But since getting married and moving out here, I only get a chance to play my horn once every other year or so - certainly not enough to stay "in shape".

Fortunately, I have friends in medium-high places, so when an opportunity came up to play for a U.S. premiere of a piece written by a Canadian pianist/composer, I begged for the part. It turned out well, and I subsequently got an invite to play a gig with the local civic orchestra for their President's Day concert. In the meanwhile, I got to play on Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1, again thanks to my friend. The beginning of the 3rd movement has a high and exposed tuba solo, and I was sweating bullets preparing for my 10 seconds of fame. I survived, barely.

It's interesting how some things come back to you just like riding a bicycle. In this case, it was being a member of the low brass fraternity, commiserating with trombone players and doing what low brass players do best - tell dirty jokes or make fun of lesser musicians (namely, string players and vocalists). Ah, life in the orchestra.

By the way, do you know what you call a trombone player who carries a pager?

An optimist.