Friday, July 14, 2006

Music to my ears

I don't even know where to start. There's NO running content in this, so you can move on if that's all you're interested in. But, there's a look into my life for those that stay.

From June 1971 to August 1976 I was a member the THE U.S. Army Band [Pershing's Own] in Washington DC. It is the Army's premier band and was then - and now - a very difficult job to get. And in 1971, given the other options if you were drafted - and I would have been - getting into that band was an enormous accomplishment. I just didn't know it at the time.

I was young, and foolish, and headstrong. Not the ideal character traits of the soldier-musician. I enjoyed some of the experience and squandered some, but mostly I just did my time and got out. 9 years after I got out my playing career ended with an injury. For the next 22 years my trombone sat in it's case. Unopened. Until in December of 2005 the current Leader and Commanding Officer - and fellow Millikin University graduate - invited me to join in the reunion.

There are about 300 reasons why that was a bad idea, not the least of which was that I hadn't played in 22 years. But, as you know if you've been following along, I got the horn out, had it reconditioned a bit, and started practicing. I played a couple of duets on the cruise.

But nothing could have prepared me for sitting in MY seat at the first rehearsal. After all those years - 30 since I has last performed with the Band - I was there again. And MOST importantly, sitting behind me and to my left, playing principle trumpet, was my son Terry. For the first time - EVER - we were rehearsing and performing together.

I won't bother with the details except to say that they chose to do a trombone section feature, which put me IN FRONT of that band for only the second time in my life. To say that I was feeling like I had been tranported to another world would be an understatement. I could see the crowd. I could hear my son playing SO well. And I was able to be present for the gift of that moment.

Simply put: my life will never be the same.


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