Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


Practice makes perfect

Our community band headed back to rehearsal this week. Tuesday night was the first time we’ve played together since March of 2020. Though we normally start up again in September after the summer break, this year we delayed starting so that the school system could decide what the protocol for our playing in their buildings would be.

We are required to where a split mask while we play, and our instrament bells must be covered as well. It’s kind of crazy, because, at least for woodwinds, air blows out through all the keyholes too which remain uncovered.

Several people protested that playing band instruments while wearing a mask was ridiculous. I suppose it is. I’m on the board and we decided early on to send out a survey, telling our musicians what the requirements would be and asking if they would be playing this season. About 50% decided they weren’t comfortable and opted out.

I understand, I waffled myself.

But in the end, for me, the chance to play overrode lingering fear of contrating covid again. Though I have to tell you, playing while wearing a mask is not easy. Playing while wearing a mask when you haven’t played more than a handful of times in the past 18 months is really hard. Playing while wearing a mask when you haven’t played much in the past 18 months and while wearing glasses that fog up is really really hard.

We’re practicing Christmas music; our first concert will be in December, and Santa will be there, so we’re motivated. I’ll be practicing this week while wearing a mask so I can figure out how to breath without fogging up. And so I can blow for longer than one measure without getting winded.

Santa from another concert, another year, another lifetime ago.

Yep, I have a lot of work to do. But we’re playing music again, a sure sign that the world is beginning to right itself. And that makes me smile. I hope you have found reasons to smile this week too. Even if you’re wearing a mask and fogging up your glasses.

Change is hard.


2 smiles, one weekend

I’m a lucky lady, I got to experience two big smiles jammed into one weekend. Plus we are experiencing beautiful weather, warm and sunny with the trees starting to turn color. The morning and evening light makes the trees just glow.

But that’s a different blog post.

My first smile of the weekend was Saturday evening when I got to play in a pop-up concert with some of my Clarkston Community Band mates and several professional musicians who came to fill holes in our orchestration.

The neighbors came out to listen to us play on their cul-de-sac.

We haven’t played together since early March. Many of us haven’t played at all since then, though most of us frantically practiced these past few days trying to get our lips back in shape. The professionals sightread the music and sounded wonderful. I was grateful to get to play with them.

Thankful for these guys coming to help us out.

It was a lovely night and we are reminded again why we play long after school ends. As our Director, Ms. Roland said, tonight we’re not talking about politics or bingewatching silly shows on TV, we’re not thinking about virusus or worried about the future.

ALl about the music.

Tonight it’s about the music. And what a relief that was.

Keeping us in time.

I hope the neighbors who came out of their homes, sat in lawn chairs and waited while we did a little rehearsing before we began, I hope they had as much fun as we did.

Making a big sound.

But I don’t see how they could have had more.

He’s played with us since he was a kid, now grown up and still making music.

Then this morning I did a virtual 5K with my friend Tami who lives in California. So that we could run/walk together she went out at 6 a.m. while it was still dark, and I waited until 9 am. here, an hour or more later than I would normally go out.

At the turn around point.

It was a compromise on both our parts because we wanted to motivate each other. Compromise works, I wish it was something that happened more in our world, but I’m not going there in this post.

Nope, this post is all about smiles. I hope you had something fun to do, or pretty to see, or beautiful to listen to this week.

As we march toward November we all need to remember to smile. And that’s as political as I’m going to get today.

Trombones all in providing the bass sounds.


WordPress Photo Challenge: Harmony

I play clarinet in a community band and within the group are several parent/child combinations. I’ve been lucky enough to watch their musical relationships over the years. It’s been pretty cool, and I think it’s one of the best things about a community band.

For the past few years I’ve enjoyed watching a particular relationship right within my own section; a mother and daughter, both playing clarinet. I know the memories they make playing music together will last a lifetime. They have a special connection and it’s easy to see how much fun they are having.


So for the photo challenge this week I could think of nothing more appropriate than the harmony so obvious between them as we readied ourselves to play a concert on Saturday. What they have is pretty remarkable these days – mutual respect combined with love and a lot of laughter. Just another example, as far as I’m concerned, of the benefit many kids get when they grow up playing music. Especially with their parents.

You can see other interpretations of harmony as comments to the original post. Or you can check out a few of my favorites here, here and here. It’s a good theme. What do you find harmonious around you? We’d love to see, share it and link to the original post.

Guaranteed to make you smile.


Wordless Wednesday

Wait!  I know it’s Wordless Wednesday…but I have words I want to say.  And you know I never quite know what day it is anyway.  So let me tell you about community band rehearsal last night.  Thanks to Ricky’s Mom I practiced at least 30 minutes every day this past week.  Even when I didn’t want to.  Some days it was an hour because I just got caught up in the music.  Well.  Only a couple times did it go beyond 30 minutes.  But still.

Just a moment.  A certain sheltie who will remain anonymous seems to need my attention….

There's something OUT THERE Mama!

There’s something OUT THERE Mama!

There's something OUT THERE Mama!

What?  Be quiet??? Really?



ZZZZ z z z..z...z...

ZZZZ z z z..z…z…

…so anyway…I was telling you about last night.  We’re a community band and we use a public school to get together every Tuesday night and practice.  We have a concert in a few weeks and the music is difficult.  So when I woke up to the news the public schools were closed due to icy back roads I just knew the director who is a public school band director would get us in the closed building.  I was right and she did, and more than that the school superintendent sent a custodian to open the building for us.  We are so grateful to have the support of the school administration.

We had a wonderful rehearsal.  Everyone showed up!  And you could tell people spent some time on the music since last week; things fell together and there were some nice sounds.  Some not so nice as well, but we have 3 more rehearsals so we can pound those out.

So thanks Ricky’s Mom!  For making me accountable to practice every single night.  I need to do that this week too, but I’m heading out of town this weekend.  That means I need to spend time with the music tonight and Thursday night for sure.

OK Katie.  Let’s go check out the scary rain before I head off to work.  Silly girl.

It's noisy Mama!

It’s noisy Mama!