I embraced the roadie title last Thursday! The JJH Band bused it over to Grand Island to play. I get a good workout lifting and moving music stands, both amplifiers, a keyboard with seat, and the tuba and l loading all unto the bus with the band. It’s a burst if power codes aren’t included. Next, it’s from bus to stage. I hold my breath praying that the electricity doesn’t decide to fade away; bass guitars and keyboards don’t hold up their end if they aren’t making noise.
On this occasion they did and adding woodwinds, brass, and percussion; it was another grand concert. They sound good. Grand Island students exuded excitement for the opportunity and enthusiastically participated as Director Ron Rector turned the performance into an audience participation workshop. It ended way too soon. They all sort of do.
Then it’s a 180 as stands, instruments, amps, keyboard, tuba, and all trail the students back onto the bus home. Finally, back at school, it’s back home to where everything started the day so that students can continue practice during 7th period. I did do a little additional cardio time with some walking later that day and it’s paying off in a number of areas.
The kids are sounding and performing well this year. Last year the JJH Band took to the road and conquered a competition in Chico at the university. This year’s 9th and 8th graders were awarded a Superior rating after performing their two pieces. They were the Le- Crème-de-la-Crème. It doesn’t get any better. I say they are on track for a possible repeat.
Saturday night I was the philanthropist. It worked out good for me; the Girls conveniently disappeared and the other cooks fell ill, so I also filled the shoes as provider. I lucked out that the Knights of Columbus held their annual fundraiser for their scholarship program. It was nice that I could vicariously cook for the family; cioppino and tri-tip were the main courses. They do a great job! I like being able to support this local cause.
Now for the advocate hat. The stars seem to be in alignment. Looks as if there is a good possibility that the Pierce music program will have its 1st multi-year band director after being reborn five years ago. But now I have probably gone and jinxed it. My Socialite informs me that our newest director is a good guy and that the band is excited and happy that he is around. Their winter program also spoke volumes that things are headed in the right direction. The sound was easy on the ears and achieved a degree of difficulty; it certainly wasn’t Hot Cross Buns. Giving of what time I can here is returning more than invested.
A good label to work toward is that of doer. Successful musicians are the epitome of accomplishment. To pick up an instrument and play it to perfection takes large amounts of so many different aspects of life. We would do well to replicate the example to tackle our life’s tasks. I stand with those that promote and encourage music programs in our education system. Live a little; master an instrument.
■ Scott Arens is a lifelong resident of Arbuckle. To contact Scott email email@example.com