Holidays were great with several solo gigs and some concerts. Family and all associated items are good. Everyone is healthy and safe. Those are the important things. Music continues to be great!
Microphone and music
The EJS last CD is back and ready for release and its really good. We were able to do that because we had a good bit of absenteeism this summer so we could double parts. So we got everything covered.
People think that running a big band is fun. It can be. BUT, along with all the moving parts of logistics of music, PA, licensing, programming there is a lot to do. It can also be like this……..
Percussion: a really good drummer who provides for his family by working moving parts at night by van. He has to leave every rehearsal 30 minutes early. My biggest struggle with him is that he is so good I don’t want him to get bored with the band and move on. I have to try to keep him challenged.
Bass Player : a hard working physician who loves this stuff and who prior to the start of school, I could accommodate him not being at rehearsal due to his schedule because I had a great bass player that would come from the other side of town every 2 weeks or so and would make sure to articulate her schedule with his. Then she got a steady boyfriend and school started and, well, she is busy. So sometimes , because he works hard and has a busy schedule, we rehearse without a bass player.
Guitars: I say plural because a big band doesn’t need but one but these 2 guys manage to pretty much always have at least one of them at every rehearsal and every performance. Not a problem.
Keyboard: Great player, but has had some personal challenges with his family this year with thefts in his house amongst his family and care of his dying mother who finally passed. This was in addition to being involved in a MVA with a broken hand earlier before all this started. So his attendance has suffered but, not without cause.Wonderful man and very supportive of all we do.
Trumpets; First trumpet: detached retina and told not to play for at least 6 months(or go blind!!!). But he plays bass so he was subbing in at that slot until this week when he had a “cardiac event” with a hospitalization and a cath. ending up being ok but he is totally out of action for a while. 2nd trumpet. Not a problem. Good support for the band. Doesn’t improvise well. 3rd trumpet: Newest member of the group and very enthused and was trying to get us more gigs. Was making great progress with his playing and I had him slated to play a pretty intensive solo at this year’s concert. Quit for no apparent reason. Says he has something to do that will take all his free time. 4th Trumpet Split between the president of the group and a very faithful member. The president is occupied during football season and also has had his rotator cuff repaired a couple of weeks ago. He has responsibilities at the school that take priorities over the band. The other player is probably one of the greatest guys in the band.
Trombones: First bone: Runs a very busy business. Great player. Too much on his plate. Comes to one in 8 rehearsals. He doesn’t need the rehearsal, but as we all know, it’s not the individuals that make the band but the band as a group. 2nd bone: New to the band (2 mos) and very interested. But , has missed a couple due to other responsibilities. 3rd bone: Came and went. Total time maybe 3 rehearsals. 4th bone: Out all year with 2 knee replacements (age related) and has some fatigue issues. Nice guy you would ever meet. Have not had 4 trombones at rehearsal for about a year. I hire out at least 2 subs for concerts.
Saxophones: 1st alto: great player, doing wonderful, solid and delighted to have him. 2nd alto: not as good a player but dedicated and never missed rehearsal. 1st tenor: Great player. Just a divinity student and has other responsibilities. Just can’t rehearse regularly. 2nd tenor: Our first tenor player when the first tenor guy doesn’t show. He has his own business and responsibilities but misses only rarely. Can’t really learn one part for having to fill with the other, and doesn’t improvise well. Bari player: very workman like player but has hearing problems and medical problems, AND runs his wife’s martial arts after school program.
Vocalist: No problem. Not always at rehearsal but the band needs to work without the vocalist episodically. Wonderful soul.
Just remember, I love all these folks. They are some of the greatest people around and do the best they can. Good people is what its all about.