Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Santa Parade

As you know, I think everyone should play in a brass band and this is because playing harmonic music once a week does something for your mind that is exceptionally good for your mental health and the breath control that comes with playing a wind instrument is exceptionally good for your physical health.

And if learning how to play a brass instrument is beyond you, I recommend you join a choir. You'll get the harmonic music and the breath control. You just won't be as cool.

For example, there were more than 50 floats in this year's Barrhaven Santa Claus parade and I doubt that any of them had choirs in them.

But every year, one of those floats holds the Maple Leaf Brass Band. It is a weird thing to be slowly rolling along Strandherd Drive passing throngs of friendly people while playing Wassail Song, Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas over and over again. A weird thing, but also a strangely fun thing.

Because I am in a brass band, when I go to work tomorrow and someone asks me "what did you do on the weekend?" I will say, "well, I was in a parade."

[Click the picture or here to go to a slideshow of parade photos]


Susan said...

You were staging a block away from my house. I don't celebrate Xmas and consider a parade over a month before the actual holiday to be in rather poor taste, but I might have come out to wave had I known you'd be there. :)
I'm truly surprised at the attendance. I guess not everyone thinks it's lame... or they think it's lame but do it anyhow.
I love that there are some Muslims in hijab on the side of the road, watching the parade, too.

RealGrouchy said...

Bicyclists (especially those with nonstandard bikes) will also enjoy participating in this year's Santa Claus parade with the Human Powered Vehicle Operators of Ottawa.

- RG>

Jennifer Nicol said...

OH the Brass-o-centrism of your posting would be breathtaking, except that as a CHORAL singer, I have exceptional breath control and it would take a lot more than to take my breath away. Not as cool, harrumph. AS IF being in the Barrhaven Santa Claus Parade was a barometer of cool.
Granted, I have never been in a parade, and yes, I would enjoy being in one. And no, perhaps choral singing is not well suited to the parade medeium.
Perhaps we can agree.... communal music-making is ALWAYS good, and music-making requiring breath effort is beneficial to those doing the breathing.

David Scrimshaw said...

Susan - I hope you've learned your lesson about being hard-core on early Christmas parades.

Real Grouchy - I'm thinking we've got to come up with a bicycle sousaphone mashup.

Jennifer - There are positive adjectives that can apply more to choirs than to brass bands. "Elegant" perhaps. And for all I know the choir you are in is pretty darn cool. But it is still not as cool as a brass band.

RealGrouchy said...

It's been done

- RG>

David Scrimshaw said...

RG, I'm sure it's been done, but Mark riding a recumbent trike while playing a helicon isn't what I had in mind.

RealGrouchy said...

We actually planned to do a Seussophone type of arrangement on the parade float for last year's float, but never followed through with the idea. If you could help make it happen, we would totally be in.

- RG>

David Scrimshaw said...


I've got a spare sousaphone.