I am a band nerd.
I have been since… well… I think I was born into this (thanks mom). I mean, seriously, when your mom’s a music ed. major (though didn’t pursue it professionally), and your dad sells and installs audio-visual equipment… it’s just a recipe for aurally inclined nerdom. I don’t think band was an option, it was just an understood that both my brother and I would join — which really wasn’t a problem for us. It was popular when we started.
Regardless, at the ripe age of 11 I joined our school’s band. My choices were alto sax or trumpet (since we owned both of those instruments), and well, the sax section was filled. So as mentioned in my biography, I followed my brother’s example and started on the trumpet — his old trumpet to be exact (the sax was my dad’s). I played that (terribly) until 8th grade when I told my director that either he’d let me switch to baritone or I was quitting. A week later I was playing baritone.
Back then, I had no idea what a euphonium was or the differences between it and a baritone. In fact, I didn’t learn most of the differences until recently… Anyway, in high school I was introduced to the euphonium through a new shiny Yamaha four-valved horn. I loved it. I was also introduce to the bulk of a marching baritone (which seriously resembles a bloated trumpet-mellophone combination). I actually developed decent upper body strength because of marching with that beast.
I enjoyed a happy life with my euphonium in high school (well, as happy as high school can be). I stopped following my brother’s footsteps because I was definitely not skilled or designed to play a tuba. My school lacked tubas for short peoples — and well, I lacked uber lungs. However, since I did not own my own euphonium or baritone, my days of playing pretty much ended in high school. I played for one semester in college — even took private lessons. But when my director said he only wanted trombones for the opera, I quit.
Until this last summer I never really though much about picking up the horn again. I had no reason really. And then Weiss introduced me to the amazingness that is Mucca Pazza. I was instantly in love.
After the show, I had to meet some of them. Bask in the nerdiness. It was after that show that I decided I needed my own horn. So I met Ronnie (accordion), who also played Happy Birthday for me (since it was my birthday weekend)… and Tom (trombone), who mentioned the cd release show happening a few days later. And well, since I thought Tom was quite the hotty (only later did I find out he was married with a kid), I knew I had to go to that second show.
So I did. And that’s where I met Tony (percussion). And then I found out about MP playing a few days later at Tour de Fat. Of course I went. (This is where I found out about, and met Tom’s family.) It was after this concert that Tony introduced me to Elanor (trombone) and I found out more about the community reading band that MP had started. So after a few ebay attempts and various emails, I found myself with a horn and joined up.
So now I own my very own bariphonium (technically a euphonium). It’s a silver holton bell-front. I use a 6.5AL pink mouthpiece. And I’m damn proud and comfortable being a nerd. I feel that any girl who can wield a low brass instrument is pretty awesome — and as we all know, I’m pretty damn awesome.
However, I will admit, since I haven’t played in a while… and because I was taught to be a little repetitious monkey rather than gaining skills in improv or jamming, well.. I’ll admit to not being all that amazing on my horn. I can play, and I’m not absolutely terrible… but tell me to do a bit of a solo, just improv for a few bars, and well, it’s painful.
Anyway… Tonight, now that MP is back from their southwest tour, we’re starting up reading band again. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and hoping that my suckage is minimal. It’s been great getting to know various members of MP. I highly recommend seeing one of their shows if you get a chance.
As they say, Ibbidy IP!