clarinet · memories · reflective


This could have been a trifecta week as far as concerts are concerned; a rain out of the first concert changed the number of concerts to two.

My first band, Huntsville Concert Band, was scheduled to play at Concerts in the Park on July 3.  I really enjoy this concert – it is an outdoor concert and there is pretty good attendance.  But it is dependent on the weather and we have been getting a lot of rain lately.  Sure enough, it rained us out.  I was disappointed that the concert was canceled but it did enable me to go to my second band’s (MCCO) rehearsal that night.  MCCO was scheduled to play on the 4th of July in the city of Madison and I really needed the practice!  There was a little rain on the 4th but the sun came out and we had a steamy day to play.

Today, the Clarinet Choir played a concert at a nursing home.  Happily, this was an indoor concert!  I love playing nursing homes; the residents really seem to enjoy the concerts.  I remember when Danny lived in a nursing home there seemed to be a lot of empty time for him and I was always grateful to the people who volunteered their time to entertain.  My clarinet sounded great and was pretty much in tune; when I retired I planned on buying a new clarinet which I would still like to do but it is hard to justify when my high school horn played as well as it did on Saturday!

It is funny how a decision made when entering high school still affects the things I do today.  I had some really bad experiences in gym in middle school.  I didn’t want to have to take Physical Education once I got to high school and the only way out for me was to take marching band.  The high school band director came to my school near the end of 8th grade and analyzed those of us interested in band for their “perfect” instrument.  She took one look at me and decided I would make a good clarinet player.  I went home and told my parents that I needed a clarinet and we really got lucky in the horn that we bought.  That was about 42 years ago.  And here I am, still playing.  A decision made in a desperate attempt to alleviate embarrassment in PE turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!  I have gotten more enjoyment from that horn than in almost any other aspect of my life.

So for me, having 3 concerts scheduled in a week gives me that joie de vivre! While I sometimes think I’m pretty one-dimensional in my interests, I haven’t recovered enough from being a ‘working stiff’ to branch out and explore other things that might kindle a spark of enthusiasm.  I would like to do more with my free time but I tend to get mired down with doing nothing; here’s hoping that I can shake off complacency and make the most of the upcoming years of retirement……


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