I feel such a sense of relief this week; my bands started back up after a holiday hiatus! On Monday, the Madison City Community Orchestra resumed practicing and on Tuesday, the Huntsville Concert Band started back up. This last year has not been one of my better years. Unfortunately, it was filled with stress and anxiety due to happenings at work and financial problems just added another layer of stress. But throughout the year, I had weekly band practice for each of my bands and that was better than a prescription to anti-anxiety meds! It isn’t overstating anything to say that band literally helped me keep my sanity throughout everything. In addition to my two regular bands, I also play with the Madison Clarinet Choir and Twickenham Winds.
I began playing clarinet in high school. My middle school did not have a band program so 9th grade was as early as it occurred to me to join. I’d like to say I was drawn by the music but I did not have that kind of foresight. I learned that if one was in marching band, it wasn’t necessary to take Physical Education (PE) so I was all in for band! It didn’t take long before I was a full fledged band geek just for the love of playing! I loved band in high school. I was pretty much self-taught but I was motivated to do well and I worked hard at improving. Now, as a player in my 50’s, I would like to start taking lessons. I would like to know if there are playing tips that everyone learns as a youngster that I just never learned. I would like to be more consistent with my higher notes and to be able to play fast passages better. I’m about to retire and I would like to have a focus for my playing in order to improve. I was definitely a better player in high school. Now my eyes don’t track the music as fast and my fingers don’t seem to move as quickly but perhaps there are techniques that I just don’t know. Regardless, I hope to play as long as I draw breath!
I am thankful for my band involvement and I look forward to every practice and every concert. I would probably join more playing organizations if the practices did not conflict but I am happy with the groups of which I am a member. If you have a horn and haven’t played in awhile, look around for a community band and start playing again. Joining band as an adult was one of the best decisions of my life…….