The concert band was ready. The first chair clarinet had just seated herself, blending into the rest of the front row with her white blouse and floor-length black skirt. The young men in the band were dressed in black tuxedos, with bright red bowties and cumberbunds.
The conductor/instructor walked briskly onto the stage from the audience's left.
And was greeted by a small, surprised "Hi, Daddy!" from the front row.
He maintained decorum until he reached center stage to lift his baton, and then looked back over his right shoulder and told the audience "It's good to be loved."
As with all spring concerts, the band sounded so much better than they did mid-winter. Gone were the obvious notes held too long, or rests cut too abrupt. The technical mastery was there.
And there were several times when I forgot about listening for the clarinet out of tune. Or the brass section overwhelming the woodwinds. And just leaned back to listen to the composition. Letting the mind wander where it will, hoping to find the message the composer was trying to send.
That had never happened at a school band concert before. Ever.
They were a concert band, now.
The second half of the concert was the Jazz Band. The group the youngest son had so hoped to join last year, but held back because they did not write jazz music for his instrument. But after only a little prodding, there he is, seated in the middle of the small group, dressed in the uniform maroon polo shirt and khaki pants, and the obligatory sunglasses.
They started swinging without their conductor. A spotlight started at the band, and then swung to the side door, behind most of the audience, to highlight the conductor.
In full pinstripe zoot suit, complete with matching hat, fake five-o'clock shadow and bright white spats.
He slowly danced his way to the stage as the band played, and then things got really lively.
Herworship often speaks of a Muse visiting her when she writes. If there is a Muse of music, she was there last night.
The Joy of making music was there last night.
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