Friday, December 02, 2005

Fun at Band Practice

Last night at band practice, I kept wondering how all the other people writing major papers and studying for exams get through this time without being able to go and play for a couple of hours with the best brass band in Eastern Ontario? We had some great musical moments last night. And Stewart who plays first horn next to me was on fire. First he had this psychic thing going with the music. He pulled Seasons Greetings out of his folder and put it on his stand. Behind it he put the Morley Calvert arrangement of two Canadian Christmas Carols (first one is the Huron Carol featuring the tenor horns in unison playing the melody – very beautiful, second one, Il est nĂ© ). Then Stewart puts Carnival de Venice on the stand. Dave the conductor taps his stand and tells us the first piece will be Seasons Greetings, then the Morley Calvert and then Carnival de Venice. This is phenomenal. When Stewart and I play guess the next piece game, I win way more often than he does and here he’d just picked the first three. He was very pleased. Too pleased, really. He got cocky. Went for number four. “Don’t do it, Stewart,” I said, “time to rest on your laurels.” He pulled out Comin’ to Town. But you know what happened. Ten minutes later, Dave told us to take out Christmas Festival. “Ahh, Stewart,” I said, “you had the trifecta and then you had to blow the whole thing on Comin’ to Town.” But Stewart still managed to impress me with three excellent lines.

  1. Lloyd told us he’d done some re-arranging on the opening to the Fanfare, Toccatta and March arrangement. Keith, the second baritone, was confused because he hadn’t been given a new part. “What’s the change?” he asked. Before Lloyd could explain that the changes were on the euphonium and tuba parts, Stewart said, “he’s translated it into French.”
  2. After we played Seasons Greetings, Stewart said, “given that it’s got no Happy Chanukah tune or anything, don’t you think they could call it Christmas Greetings?”
  3. A loud buzzing noise started up during one of our songs and continued through the rehearsal. It was from some machine in a locked room off the hall we practice in. “I figured out how to ignore that buzzing,” said Stewart, “I’m pretending it’s trombones.”
Maybe you had to be there.

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