I think there must be a special place in heaven for community band directors.
He was being preternaturally patient with us last night, in spite of the fact that we were being overachievers – we both sucked AND blew. We couldn’t carry a tune in a basket. We were all over the map, timing-wise. Individually, we were playing every tempo known to man, EXCEPT for the one he was desperately trying to get us to play.
In our defense, it was HOT last night. The auditorium in which we rehearse is not air-conditioned, and as the night progressed, it got hotter and hotter, muggier and muggier, and we got more sluggish.
Yet he persevered, for a full two hour rehearsal. He’d stop us every 6 measures or so, by which time we were HOPELESSLY out of time, He’d smile weakly.
“We’re STILL not together. You need to be looking at me. Some bands can play without direction. But they practice a LOT. Often, conductors give up after their bands insist on setting their own tempo.”
We hang our heads in shame.
“But that’s OK….that’s OK…”. He trails off.
“Let’s try again at measure 121.”
We only have 3 more rehearsals before our concert.