Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Marching Band, Revisited

I always wanted to play the trombone. In the sixth grade, when my parents were enrolling me in band, I was already a talented pianist, and enjoyed singing. But I thought long and hard, and the image of playing that slide trombone was for me.

So, I ended up playing trumpet. Two of my older brothers played trumpet, so I was to play trumpet as well. Imagine the possibilities! The Bruner Boys playing Trumpet Trios in Church. It happened, too. Once.

But, in hindsight, I wasn't sorry for the switch. I was good at trumpet and enjoyed it immensely. It was also work. Marching band, in particular. People don't seem to appreciate the arduous work behind preparing for high school marching band competitions. Two-hour after-school rehearsals three days a week, often in freezing temperatures marching uphill both ways on the field. Okay, not that last part. But it was hard. And fun. A lot of fun, at times.

So, why am I telling you about this now? Fifteen years since I marched in my last band competition? Well, because last night I had an epiphany. I put in the CD for the soundtrack to Back to the Future, Part III and, once again, realized how great a marching band program this would make. Nothing new there. But then, at one particularly dramatic moment in the music, I could see the field. See the formations. See the color guard. And then I could see how to make the entire band completely disappear, sending them back to the future!

But that's where I'm stuck. Because this grand idea is completely worthless without a band. So, if you happen to know of any band directors wanting to put together a really awesome marching band show, put them in touch with me. It irritates me that a perfectly genius idea (if I do say so myself) will go to waste.

Before I leave it at that, however, I'll fess up now. I was a high school band drop out. I was in marching band for three years. I was at the top of my game. First chair trumpet. Section leader. But I lost my passion. It was no longer fun. I just didn't want to do it anymore. So, I quit band, and attempted to shift into choir instead. Didn't work. Choir wouldn't fit my class schedule. So, I focused on piano and singing. Still, the thrill of the marching band has never really left me...and now, at least for one program, I wish I could become a band director.

So, what am I thankful for today? Music. Not only for my own abilities within music, but for the abilities of so many talented musicians that enrich our lives. I don't think a day goes by in my life where music doesn't play a role, either through listening or singing. It can help set the mood, or it can match my mood. I can appreciate the incredible power of the music from Les Miserables, or have a grand time listening to Mel Torme, or lift my own voice in worship to God, or a thousand other styles of music.

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