Four days. That is the thought running through my head this evening. I cannot even to begin to adequately describe what I saw and heard this evening.
Tonight the various classes and small groups had a chance to show what they accomplished this week. We had four days to prepare and present music that we first saw Monday. Individuals from all across the country jelled into a group, from the Intermediate Clarinets – where several members first picked up their instruments a year or so ago – to the Advanced Jazz Band, that could rival any big band in the nation.
Every group was practically flawless, and every band member proud of what they accomplished. The evening held a few surprises. The Conch Shell Class did a great job on “Amazing Grace” and who would have thought you could get melodic sounds out of shells like those heard on “Ain’t She Sweet”?
One of the highlights of the Advanced Big Band performance was watching Greg Pope, the drummer from our band in Canton reading the lead sheets. Greg played with some of the Motown greats when he was a youngster, but never learned to read music. Tonight, he was practically sight-reading. Watching him this week was like watching a kid in a candy store. The week at Interlochen was a dream come true for him.
Tomorrow morning, the Intermediate and Advanced Bands will perform. It will almost be like a graduation. We’ll be playing music that we stumbled over Sunday night; that after Tuesday evening’s rehearsal we all walked away shaking our heads thinking we had only two more days to get it right.
Four Days!!!! Four days to accomplish something that most bands spend weeks or even months to perfect. We were strutting our stuff tonight, and we were all proud.