I was a total “band geek” in high school. I played flute and/or piccolo in the marching band, I was the marching band drum major one season, I played in the wind ensemble. I took private flute lessons all through high school, even in the summer. I wasn’t a stellar musician, but I wasn’t awful either. I just loved to play. My high school class awarded me the female “most musical” award.
When I went to college, I opted to study English Literature as my major, with Music Performance as a minor. I studied with him and it was like a whole new world opened up for me. He pushed me, forced me to play 20th century music (which I loathe), made me a better musician. He convinced me to try out for a music competition that the college had. I won, the first non-music major ever to win. That was something that I’ll never forget, because I worked so very hard for something that I wanted. I played in a trio (flute, violin and piano, aptly named Trio Non Sacra by our piano teacher) and those rehearsals with my two friends were some of the best mornings I can remember. The composer Martinu never thought his music would be performed by a group of crazy girls.
I played in a community concert band after I moved back to Maine for several years. I loved going every single week for rehearsal, even when I was enormously pregnant with Meg and couldn’t breathe because she sat so high. We performed several times in Boston at Faneuil Hall and that was always such a highlight. But I left the band after suffering my 2nd miscarriage, partially due to complete exhaustion and partially due to Doug’s work and hockey coaching schedule, and I’ve never been back.
Cass was talking today about how playing the piano brought her such great joy and how she’s happy to be back playing a little and the post resonated with me. I pick up the flute here and there and play for the kids (Meg and I had a flute~recorder duet just before Christmas), or I’ll sit at the piano and play some of Meg’s music (like the Harry Potter collection we got her for Christmas), and I have an ache in my soul. Music was such an important part of my life for so long and I miss it terribly.
It’s nice that Meg is taking after my love of music though. She plays the piano, the recorder and wants to join the middle school band next year (yes, she will be a MIDDLE SCHOOLER!). I try hard not to sound like I’m criticizing when I help her out, because it’s so much a part of me that I just can’t help it. I hope that she’ll continue to love music and will want to stick with it as she grows older, because I truly believe that once it gets in your blood, it never really leaves you.