The 2007-2008 season of the Ashland Community Band is over. It will resume back up in the Fall (September 2nd) but for now the musicians receive a reprieve and a break from the weekly practices. It is interesting, I originally joined community band to get back into shape for my high school Alumni Band which lasts only one day a year. What I found was another experience.
I am a member of two community bands, the Ashland Community Band and the Vermilion Community Concert Band. Neither one is really better then another, they are both different and have their own strengths. The Ashland Community Band is lead by my college band director Leonard Salvo (pictured above) so I have a feel of consistency there. I can say playing music from a theory perspective, jumping to different keys, improvisation, and playing by ear that I am about 60-75 percent from where I was 13 years ago when I stopped playing. My range is fairly solid now but at a loss of an octave that I had back then. What I have gained is better tonal quality then I ever had, better tongueing technique, and I’m sure some of my past band directors are happy I don’t puff my cheeks out as much – though I don’t really think that ever had any bearing on my playing.
I’ve also gained a new group of people that I have gotten a chance to know. I’m playing regulary and I am enjoying it. It’s not normally like it was back in high school when i would push and get a “high” for lack of a better term, but it’s still kind of there. I don’t have the ambition to practice hours and hours every single day, though I should.
Ashland’s final concert of the season took place last Sunday, and Xie stated it was a good concert, but we did not manage to get it video taped this time around. So as I look forward to September when I play with the band again I leave you with these video clips: