Monday, 6 July 2009

Picnic in the Park ~ A Musical Interlude

(All photos courtesy of Marianne Cant)

Well, thanks to my beautiful wife I'm reminded I've neglected this blog for far too long - it needs an update.

In a previous, previous life and a long time ago, I played the trumpet. I like to think I was quite good but I was young, youthful and energetic and full of things around me. Really, I took my music very seriously until life happened. I played in the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, Isle of Youth Orhestra, Bembridge Young Community Band and a few other things. Life was full of music!

As I said, then 'life' happened. 37 years later I remarry and I promised to my (then) wife to be, Marianne, I will play my trumpet for her at our wedding. She had never, ever heard me play and I thought it was about time she did!

A long story shortened - 6 weeks before the wedding I reckoned I ought to at least practice something. I did ~ can you believe how rusty a musician gets after a 37 year lay-off?

Anyway, it happened. Marianne was swept off her feet in a romantic trumpet blast - "The way you look tonight" is an amazing piece to woo your wife!

Move on a year and I'm having a terrible job stifling the urge to play again with a group of musicians and let's face it - a trumpet's ok but, solo all the time is a bit much for any audience no matter how much they tell you they love you!

A colleague at work told me about a Music School in Huntingdon HuMSA and that I should look them up. I did and I was amazed at what was on offer. Saturday I get the opportunity to play in a number of groups - from a Brass Ensemble to a Swing (Big) Band. The big draw back is I'm away from home for quite a lot of Saturday mornings, they follow the school term times so there are some holidays. Thank you Honey, I know how difficult it is for you. Wish they did knitting groups there on Saturday mornings ;^) How about learning the harp, it's only strumming vertical skeins?

It seems Brass players are in short supply - so, within a few weeks (3 to be precise) I was asked to play in a concert. Nerve wracking to say the least, but it is enjoyable. Well, it was for me - at least, I don't know what we sound like. I do actually and Marianne recorded on her phone a couple of pieces we played at a summer concert in Godmanchester - Picnic in the Park. The quality is not that good as it was an unbalanced PA system around she was surrounded by partying kids! It gives some idea of what we sound like. It's a shame Marianne couldn't get some of our more melodic pieces but maybe we'll find a better way of recording them.

Extracts from "Have you met Miss Jones?" sung by our new male vocalist Chris Cook and "Woodchoppers Ball".

Me- second from the right, Lewis on the right with Tony, to my left (can you believe he is 82?)

Must tell you this:

At my first concert with him another young lad was sat next to Tony, the lad asked who he was waving to in the audience, he replied, "My father!". I really did laugh