Well, I guess I enticed you to come back today to see how I was reunited with my first love.
Look what I got!
When I was in jr. high/high school, I absolutely LOVED my flute. I had just about the best band director in the world up until my sophomore year in high school: he and his wife taught me everything I knew about music. At the end of my freshman year, he dropped a bomb: He was leaving. I don't know of anybody who wasn't bummed about the news. He arranged our marching music; I had no idea you could actually buy field music until the next year. When anyone asks me who my band director was in high school, I say it was this man, because, honestly, my music education was completely stagnant for the next 3 years. We begged the new guy for more difficult music, but he said no. That was the beginning of the dwindling numbers in the Small Town High School's band. When I was a freshman, we had 1/3 of the school in the band; there were about 300 students in the high school, and 100 of those were in the band. We had to take 3 buses everywhere we went. These days, the football team has more people than the band. The band is down to 1 bus and the football team needs at least 2, some years they need 3. On the bright side, though, when I moved back to the Small Town, there were only 18 people in the band, and now there are around 50.
I had big dreams for myself and my flute: I wanted to be the first female flautist on Lawrence Welk (he only had male flautists...watch reruns and you'll see what I'm talking about). I even wanted to be a studio musician at one point. If you don't know what that is, Barry Manilow wrote a song about them:
But, with a stagnant music education, and going from a big fish in a little pond to a little fish in a big pond (also called college), I realized I wasn't going to set the world on fire with my flute playing. I majored in music for a total of 1 semester, then started looking for something else to do with my life. Music has always played a major role in my life: during college I played in the concert band a year or 2, and was in the flute choir. Even after college, I worked with high school bands as a guard instructor, and I continued to play my flute at church and a couple of weddings. Then came babies. Eventually, I decided that my flute had been neglected long enough, and I knew there had to be some child out there who wanted to learn to play the flute but didn't have the funds, so I donated my flute to a local middle school band. I did it with the stipulation that whoever uses it takes care of it and loves it as much as I did.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago: With YS in band, that yearning came back. I looked on eBay and talked to someone who owns a pawn shop. One of my high school friends was playing in the community band, and told me about it. I told her I needed to get a flute, and she suggested looking in the pawn shops. Only I never made it into one of those shops. I called the flute teacher that our high school uses, and she offered to look at some for me. I kind of put in on the back burner, until one of the band moms (who also was on the flag corps with me in college) mentioned that a friend of hers had a flute that her daughter played for a couple of years. She was trying to sell it. I believe in signs, and I definitely think that's what this was. Her friend got the flute out, took it to a music store, got the pads replaced, and got an estimate on what she should ask. Y'all, I really got a steal.
(Side note: Yesterday in Mass, the priest's homily was about recognizing signs.)
Okay, so that was 2 years ago. I drug my feet, and even let a band dad who has a flute player in middle school know about it. I saw him a month ago, and he said they hadn't done anything about it. Another sign. I met the friend's friend a few weeks ago, and she said she still has it. I told her I just needed to go ahead and get it. After the band clinic weekend, the love was rekindled! I got back in touch with her, made sure the price was the same, and jumped on it.
We were going to meet on Wed. night, but we had a monsoon that night so it was postponed until Thursday. I took it home, got it out, rearranged it until it felt familiar, and off I went! I was a little shaky at the very beginning with my tone and some of the fingerings, but it started to come back after a little while. Here's the crazy thing: I remembered how to play the field show when I was a freshman (except for one run in Punchinello and our opener). When I was a junior, I switched instruments on the field from a flugelhorn to a piccolo for a flute solo, but Thursday, I didn't even know where to begin to start playing that song. Think my first band director had an impact on me?
I am sooo excited to have been reunited. This flute is almost exactly like the one I had. There are a couple of groups nearby that I hope to eventually get into, but I've got a whole lot of practicing to do first!
Question for the day: Is there something in your past that is tugging at you? Maybe a talent you had in high school (or earlier or later) that is tugging at you to revisit it?