I've got a fat lip, the muscles in my cheeks and around my mouth are sore, and I've got a loose crown. Kinda sounds like I went a few rounds with the neighbourhood bully, huh?
In fact, I did it to myself - by spendng about an hour practicing my slush pump. That's what those of us who play it call it. The rest of you may respectfully refer to it as the trombone, king of the brass.
I havent' even had the thing out of its case in 3 1/2 years, so it's no surprise I'm hurtin'. I've been doing some buzzing on my mouthpiece for about 20 minutes twice a day for the last week or so (while commuting to work - good thing the other drivers can only see and not hear!), so I've been able to give my embouchure a bit of a head start, but it's still not as hard on the tiny muscles as actually playing. Fortunately I was able to score access to a practice room at work for a little while, as we're between programs, so I won't have to horrify my neighbours with my practicing until I've at least got a little control back.
We have an adult concert band here in this tiny town, and I played in it 3 1/2 years ago and had a blast. I played right through university back in the day, and was pretty good at the time - won a few Conservatory scholarships & was studying for grade 8 when I stopped playing. It had been almost 20 years when I picked it back up a couple of years ago.
The band starts up again this week, and though my workload is nuts, I at least have the fees to join this year, and they're desperate for t'bone players. I also realised that with work being so heavy, I better have a scheduled social activity in place, so I'm not tempted to spend all my time working.
The band was formed for the purpose of providing fun and an opportunity to enjoy the music at an intermediate level, so while people work at the music, nobody gets too buggd that we're not gonna give the Calgary Philharmonic much of a run anytime soon. We may suck, but we sure have fun doing it!
In fact, the original rule was that any player who was already extremely proficient on an instrument was welcome to join, but they had to switch to a new instrument! Since I haven't played in so long, it'll be all I can do to keep up for the first while anyway. I can still make the horn sound great, but my sight reading is atrocious.
We also have a swing band, which was one of my favourite things back when I used to play regularly, but I don't have the time to commit 2 nights a week, and i know my playing just won't be up to the level needed for that for quite a while.
I was a real music geek in highschool, in large part because our school was blessed with 2 extraordinary music teachers, one who arrived as I started grade 10 and a second one in grade 11. I played in everything - concert band, stage band, marching band, orchestra, brass quintet, trombone choir (you haven't heard Bach chorales until you've heard them done by 8 perfectly-tuned trombones). We regularly won in competition with all our bands, and played to a very high level. We even performed as the pit orchestra for a top-notch production of Fiddler on the Roof, and recorded our own album. Hell, I even went to band camp! Ontario Music Leadership Camp, actually, sent by my school. What a week that was.
I owe my mom a lot for nurturing my love of music early with piano and guitar lessons, but I also owe a huge debt to Murray Black and Bonnie Quinn for the extraordinary music opportunities they provided. I understand Bonnie just retired last year. I wish I'd been able to go back to tell her how much I appreciated her as a teacher. Sadly, Mr. Black died a number of years ago.
Bonnie was one of my instructors at music camp, (hence the use of her first name) who initiated a string and orchestra program at our school. Mr. Black was a big bear of a guy, former military bandsman, who could play every instrument in the band. When somebody hadn't practiced their part well enough, he'd walk over, take their instrument, and demonstrate how to play it, just to show 'em up a little. He was a tough taskmaster, but he loved the music, and he loved us kids, as I realise now. When I think of the personal time those 2 gave up to lead all our practices, my mind boggles.
Thanks to those two, I learned to love creating instrumental music in a group, and I'm really looking forward to getting back into it.
Hmm... still have a bunch of my old solos. Wonder if I could scare up an accompanist at work to work on some of them too?