Friday, December 13, 2002

I went to a High School Jazz concert last night in which one of my boys was playing. It was a combined concert in that each of the area schools did a set. All the performances were well done and it was nice to see how well some of these young musicians could play. You could tell that they were new to improvisation but they did pretty good, nonetheless.

But what was worth the price of admission was what happened after all the school bands performed. Another band took the stage that was made up of the instructors of the high schools as well as some of the music staff of the local community college thrown in. These were people who had been band geeks most of their lives. They loved music so much that they were willing to accept careers as small-time school instructors just to stay in music. And they played. Boy, did they play. Tight and clean. Solos were passed around like fast breaks on a basketball court.

The best part was in the eyes of the students in the audience as they watched and listened. As students they had just begun to understand the thrill and skill that makes good jazz. And here they were seeing it demonstrated by their own teachers. For a few of them it may have been the spark that convinces them to work hard enough to make a profession out of music. For the rest it was a demonstration that it is OK to be a band geek. If they can learn to make music like that it is all worth it.

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