It’s 10:00 am and we’re up to zero degrees! What a gorgeous day it is, although it prompts no desire in me to go out and freeze my buttons off to experience it. You’d need sunglasses to see through the sunlight sparkles glittering in the waving prairie grass. (To really see this, you have to double-click and enlarge the photo.)
The sun shone all day yesterday and the snow softened enough so that my car got stuck on the way back from the barn. I had to rock it forwards and backwards for about ten minutes before I’d made it to the house. Maybe my tires aren’t as good as I thought they were. I was worried I’d miss band practice.
You see, I am lucky enough to live 2 miles from the local college and the band director allows community members to sit in and augment the ranks of the Symphonic Band. I played the french horn in high school and college, and after far too many years, I’ve resurrected my skills and am once again enjoying being a part of it all. I did make it to band rehearsal, and was so excited to see the music for the new semester included one of my favorites from my senior year in high school. I’d had a big solo in the piece and it was a happy memory. As it turns out, several of the students were out with the flu, so I was the only horn and “had” to play the solo last night. I was far from perfect as it had been 40 years since I’d last played it, but it was so fun!
The college also supports a brass band group made up entirely of community members. I joined that group in the fall and am switching back and forth from the french horn to the alto horn for the two ensembles. It is hard for me because the alto horn fingerings are different and the pitch is off by a whole step so my brain tells me to shoot for a note that is just a little too high even when I do use the right fingerings. My new friends in the band tell me I need to learn to change my whole frame of mind between instruments so that I don’t get confused. So far, I haven’t quite got it and now I mess up even on my french horn where I’ve always been very confident.
Still, it is supremely fun for me to be back making music together with an ensemble and I feel like I’ve recovered a long lost joy. What a lucky girl!