Friday, September 14, 2007

It's Almost Bedtime

I'm going to savor my sleep tonight, unless my tricksy body has other plans. My upper back is twingeing, the kind of twinge that happens after a bit of commuter-biking and hunching over a computer for too long. School, production meeting, homework... but there was gorgeous weather, dinner with my sweetheart, and time to play a little clarinet as well. If this keeps up I shall have to stop calling myself Accordionista, because the poor old squeezebox isn't making it out of its case these days! My pal Russel recently invited me to join the North Shore Community Band, so off I went last night, to play my clarinet in a North Shore high school...just like the old days at my alma mater...except that my high school band sucked. This one is really fun, and the music is challenging enough that I'll actually have to practice, which will be fun. The inside of my lower lip stings today, though.
The sound of a band (as opposed to an orchestra, which sounds very different) took me back to my days at the National Music Camp of Canada, back in Ontario. Almost all the school bands I've ever been in have been terrible, but NMC made up for it. In one week, you'd learn more about your instrument than you would in an entire year of school band. These amazing jazz & classical musicians would come up there to teach, and they had a blast. They'd put on concerts for us, in the humid evenings in the main hall; I still sometimes hear their names on CBC. We'd play in bands, and have sectionals with experts who'd teach us everything we ever needed to know about our instruments, in my case the clarinet. I can still remember the pleasure I felt when I learned that the clarinet has 2 registers: the Clarion and the Chalemeau.
The camp itself was...spartan, to say the least. The rest of the summer it was a camp for Jewish kids- Camp Wahanawin. There were wild 3-D papier mache "posters" of all the musicals these kids had put on, all over the dining hall. If the musicals were half as entertaining as the posters...
The camp was run by this older guy and his sons, who all looked exactly the same- dark and saturnine. I remember that one of them was called Bruce, and that in the morning we were roused from our saggy bunks by one of them mournfully intoning over a loudhailer: "Flagpole, everybody. Everybody to...the flagpole." Glory days.
Anyway, I'm still feeling a bit nervous about biting off more than I can chew this fall. But with my trusty clarinet in hand and a view like this from my balcony, how can life be all bad?

1 comment:

Mrs. Chicken said...

"saturnine" - love this word.

My husband is a musician - degree in music from Harvard, master's from Eastman School Of Music. Doctorate in progress.