Tuesday, March 18, 2008

At least "Chopsticks" was not involved.

The DNB has a concert!

He plays in a local amateur orchestra. Emphasis on amateur.

I do a quick headcount as the concert begins. There are more orchestra members than audience members, which does not seem to bode well. Over the intro to the first song, an elderly woman two rows in front of me explains the history of The Star Spangled Banner to the elderly woman next to her. She is shouting to be heard over the music WE ALL HAVE COME HERE TO ENJOY.

Things go reasonably well until the concert shifts from the low brass notes of the Jaws theme to a piece the director bought in the bargain bin of a local music store, as he proudly explains.

When the woodwinds begin screeching out notes, my face does the sort of thing that happens when a spotlight is shined directly into your face. My left eye squints and the side of my mouth goes up. The man in front of me actually PLUGS HIS EARS.

The man on baritone looks like he has smelled a fart. He's seated close to the DNB, so it's difficult to tell whether he is, in fact, smelling a fart, or whether he, too, has heard the woodwinds.

A projector has been set up to play movie clips as the orchestra plays the themes. Things don't seem to line up very well, though, and the orchestra is still playing the happy go lucky Bargain Bin piece as the "Chillers and Thrillers" clips begin to play. Someone finally pauses it during the Mr. Holland's Opus clip to give the orchestra time to catch up. Mr. Holland's son is frozen on the giant screen, a creepy, adoring look on his face. This is the director's favorite movie, he explains, and he conducts its theme with a great deal of passion. I wonder if it is actually a law that Mr. Holland's Opus be the favorite movie of all middle- and high-school band directors. The DNB later confirms that it is.

As the concert ends, I realize the great debt of gratitude I owe my parents, who sat through many of these types of events. Endless piano recitals and four-hour long dance school marathons; choir programs during which sounds came out of my mouth much worse, I am sure, than anything the woodwinds produced, and day-long swim meets in different states.

Thanks Mil & Fil. Good times.

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