Nelson's View

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Band Days

Going to the Storm Lake High School's holiday concert earlier this week sure brought back a lot of musical memories for me. I have always enjoyed music and come from a family with quite a bit of musical talent. I have to say I'm jealous - our school wasn't able to have an orchestra program.

The band director brought over a bunch of instruments when I was in 5th grade for us to try out. I received the highest score on the trombone and tuba but I decided to try out the flute, much easier to march with and carry home in my backpack. Plus my mom had been a flutist herself, so what better way to learn?

I joined marching band in high school and remember the early morning practices quite vividly. Most of the time it was cold and wet out. There was nothing like coming inside from practice and having to go get my school picture taken about five seconds later when my nose is as red as a beet from the cold and I've got hat hair from my stocking hat. We marched in snow, rain and 100 degree heat.

Another memory I shall never forget (unfortunately) was walking into the band room Monday morning only to discover that we were supposed to march to a dedication at the courthouse. Somehow must have missed the memo. Sure I had my uniform and my flute but I didn't have any black shoes or socks. I managed to find a pair of black shoes and one black sock. I thought maybe I'd find some black tape to use but then we ended up taking off my suspenders so the pant legs would ride lower and hide my flashy white sock. Unfortunately my pants were several sizes too big for me in the waist so here I am trying to march down the street in a straight line, play my instrument and keep my pants from falling off. I managed to make it to the courthouse and back.

Once while marching in a parade, I was at the end of the row right next to a girl in the flagline. She got too close and smacked me in the face with her whirling flag pole and my lip started to bleed all over my flute. Of course we were supposed to look professional and march in a straight line since we were being judged for contest, so I held my flute up as best I could to make it look like I was playing. Thankfully many of my other memories were not all painful or awkward but those that were definitely provide a good laugh now.

I also was in choir all through school and was in a couple musicals including the "Sound of Music." I was a nun. We didn't have enough cast members so many of us had to play a couple different roles so I was also in the ballroom scene. At one point during practice we didn't have enough time to change into our ballroom outfits. So imagine me in my habit dancing with the head Nazi in his uniform. But that's a whole 'nother story.

Thanks for the great concert, kids, and the good memories.