Posts Tagged ‘band’
School photography is fun. It doesn’t last, mostly because it’s on an even tighter schedule than the school year — most of our work ends by mid-October, and I wasn’t hired until early August.
I have interviews on Tuesday.
Interview One: After-school tutoring for students with learning disabilities. At $12/hour, the price is right, though the hours are few.
They’re looking for special education teachers, ideally, but I think I can turn them around once I turn on my charm. Yeah — maybe if I keep thinking that, it’ll work out that way.
Interview Two: Long-term substituting position. Word has it that a history teacher is about to go administration on us. He’s at a great local high school in a poor part of town, and the staff is filled from grads from the local Christian college.
I play in the band at that same local Christian college. I also don’t know if the future vice principal in question has someone else in mind.
Bad: Signs point to maybe. Good: I have two shots.
For all the talk of the veterans’ needs, and all the political posturing, there’s a very human element we seem to miss out on.
Soon after Reservist Erin Alaniz returned from Iraq, she was homeless and pregnant, and had only recently left an abusive relationship. She looked around for help, but couldn’t find anyone willing to help her out, she said, her eyes tearing up. Because she was homeless, she didn’t qualify.
Then she met the Sounds of Freedom, who promptly helped her get back on her feet:
“With what they helped me with, I was able to do everything and more I needed to do for my family,” said Alaniz.
But Alaniz says it goes beyond the music and the money.
“They follow up. They call me all the time. ‘How are things?’ ‘How’s the baby?’ ‘How’s your son?’ You have no idea of the magnitude these people care. It’s awesome,” said Alaniz.
One hundred percent of the proceeds go toward troops and their families. Last year almost $10,000 were raised. The funds went toward helping soldiers pay their rent, college tuition, and other needs.
That’s why I play in this veterans’ band. The community is great, and the music is fun, but I stick around for yet another reason.
I’m doing my part to help out — how about you?
There’s a whole breed of music I hate. Officially, it’s called modern, or 20th century. I call it artsy fartsy. As far as I care, this genre sounds as if the scores from all three Eastwood-Leone films were played at the same time. Not my cup of tea.
Although my veteran’s band I’m in plays mostly marches and Americana and insulates us from most twelve-tone atrocities, we still put up with our share of the avant garde. The next concert’s masochistic selection is Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. Ugh.
Lincoln Portrait features Aaron Copland at his Aaron Copland-est. Published at the outset of American involvement in the Second World War, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from Copland and his period — cheesily uplifting narration; triumphant brass; a main motif that sounds almost cribbed from Gone With the Wind.
It’s all well and good to listen to, I suppose, if melodramatic repetition is your thing, but it’s hell to play. From the bandsman’s perspective, it’s full of key changes, unfriendly time signatures and hatred of all mankind. I’d rather play the Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz.
It doesn’t help that this piece’s director doesn’t have the firmest grasp of the material. Although there are reference numbers at every 10 bars, without fail, he’ll inevitably tell us that we should start seven measures before 150, or three after 210.
We don’t play this piece very well, even in the parts with the courtesy to stay in the same key for more than a few measures. Before we get far, he’ll stop us, and we’ll start over again.
In frustration, and forced good humor, he called us out on our unintended dissonance.
Seriously, now — Lincoln is the good guy.
With all this bad and ugly, we’d never have noticed.