Ah, I do remember my days in the school band very well, especially the excitement of our concerts, the culmination of all our months of hard work and lessons. The night came, the school auditorium filled up, we dressed up, acted spazzy backstage, and felt a mixture of pride and relief when it was all over. I started out on clarinet in 5th Grade, switched over to drums the next year, and continued on in band until 10th Grade, when the new band instructor and I had a protracted showdown and I ended up he had wished I would. After all, "girls shouldn't be in the drum section," he complained to me, "They are distracting to the boys there." It is my sincere hope that karma revisited him often and heavily in the following years, perhaps in the forms of particularly painful romantic liaisons that inevitably met in dissolution and failure, or nonstop lifelong hiccups.

This year, MissNine's small school began a band program for the first time, and she chose to play coronet -- in fact playing one that belonged to her Grandpa Bob, which came to us after he died in 1993. I am certain he would have been thrilled. The 4th Grade gathered up in the gym last night to play their very first concert, which I think went really well considering they had only 40 contact hours of instruction this year, and most of the kids had never played any musical instrument before.

Despite the expected misplaced honks and variations on pitch and timing, I think the kids showed a lot of poise and maturity. No matter what, it's hard to get onstage and do anything, especially when you are only nine or ten years old and you still really need and want your mom and dad and siblings to be proud of you.

The sound, both comic and sweet, was...well, just perfect, really.

The 4th Grade Band Concert