September 18, 2012 · band music tuba

Tubas on the March

"The tuba is certainly the most intestinal of instruments, the very lower bowel of music." ― Peter De Vries

I'm always surprised at how well my dad remembers lyrics from 50+ years ago, but then again music is an important part of his life. He's been playing guitar since he was a young boy and is the best singer in our immediate family.

I played in the band through middle and high school (including a year of Marching Band in college). Some of my best times in school were in the band. A few months ago, I was able to borrow a tuba from my wife's middle school to play over the summer. It's amazing how much you lose after 10 years. One of the reasons the band instructor let me borrow the tuba was to provide support for the young players at school. I volunteer a few times a week with some one-on-one practice and time with the whole band. I'm sure it's helping the students, but more so, I love being part of a band again. My wife, a flute player, also plays with the band a few days a week during her planning period.

My favorite present growing up was to see Maynard Ferguson at Blues Alley with my parents and friend for my 16th birthday. We sat in the table closest to the stage and I was less than six feet from hearing his amazing trumpet. It was an experience I will never forget. Check out my favorite Maynard song.

Another memorable moment from my past was playing in the Kennedy Center for Tuba Christmas in high school. Over 100 tubas and euphoniums from around the DC area met and rehearsed for an hour or two and then played in front of a large audience at the Kennedy Center. Hearing that many tubas playing Christmas carols was hilarious. There are still plenty of Tuba Christmas events around the country. Find the one closest to you and play along or be a part of the crowd.

I've met at least one person who said that they didn't really like music and preferred to listen to talk radio. I like talk radio and podcasts more than most people, but nothing can replace the emotion that music generates. Needless to say, that person who doesn't like music is no longer in my life.

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