Jazz band was very fun. I mostly liked the big band music. Glenn Miller all the way! That first year I was in band, we took a trip to Reno for a jazz festival. What I remember most about this trip was a few things. First, I convinced my band director to let my band friend come with us as a "groupie". He wanted to make sure all the seniors could go on a trip, and she was literally the only senior not in jazz band. I pleaded with him to let her come and at first he tried to pull the "so why isn't she in jazz band?" card. When I told him that she played clarinet he said that wasn't a reason because I played clarinet, as well as some of the other saxophonists. He did eventually let her come. She just hung out with us. We tried to get me to sneak in gambling in some of the casinos but... I was always caught. The other thing I remember is that Mr. Simpson made me go on the stage with my shoes off!
The story with that is that I had my favorite pair of sneakers that I got in 8th grade and didn't allow my mom to throw out until I was in college. I wore those things to pieces... literally. Mr. Simpson was always very strict about how we looked when we went on stage. We ALWAYS had to have our shirts tucked in, much to my chagrin. I was very derpy and when I remembered we had to bring black shoes, I thought "oh, these will do! They're black!" Mr. Simpson was disgusted, though. He called them what they were. "Ratty black shoes with a ratty white trim". Then he said "Please tell me you have black socks". When I confirmed I did, he said that I would go on stage with my socks on and that's what I did. I doubt any of the judges even noticed. Had I gone on with my terrible shoes, Mr. Simpson was certain that they would have noticed.
In 12th grade, we were down out bari saxophonist as he just graduated, so I graduated to bari sax in jazz band, and then very occasionally in concert band when Mr. Simpson felt like the bari sax part in a piece was needed. I remember that Keith's mouth piece on the bari was very disgusting so the first thing I did when I got it was to rinse it out in some kind of solution. It's a good thing that bari sax parts are very easy to play for the most part because I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I brought that thing home to practice. I had no ride home and it was at least 40 lbs to truck that thing the 2 miles home. I had no desire to do that, so it would just stay in the band room every night.
I was severely depressed for most of 12th grade, but one thing I was looking forward to all year was the big band night. It was our band's major fundraiser for the year. The jazz band played big band songs while the guests got a nice dinner and a dance stage. The concert band members who were not in jazz band had to be waiters and it was a lot more fun to be playing big band music rather than waiting tables. In some ways, in my dramatic mind, it was "ruined" because Mr. Simpson decided not to play my favorite piece! I was really ticked off. Which would that be do you ask?
I don't know why I liked that song so much, but it was very fun to play and a big bummer that we did not get to play it. I was so ticked that I didn't stay to help clean and just went home immediately like a big brat.
I always wish I could go back to those days and do it all over. I think I'm in a much happier place right now. It was always my favorite part of high school.
Besides, wasn't I the cutest little saxophonist? : D
This has been an intersection with the talented adoptedwriter. Check out her entry on another kid's experience in jazz band here!