Echos of Music

I cried today. I think for the first time sense Sophmore year. Which has been nearly 2 years. It's Dec 6th 2000, a Wednesday. Nearly a year sense what I grieve for today, I guess it just never hit me until now.

I woke up today at around 1:00, I had stayed home because I wasn't feeling good. I guess I was really sick sense I slept in untill 1:00. But what I woke up to was an echo from spring in my Junior year. I heard music that sounded familiar.

When I realized what I was listening to I went to investigate. My little sister was listening to the CD of the Del Oro Golden Eagle Band spring concert 2000. I froze for a second and just listened. I hadn't heard us sense then. In a way, I hadn't wanted to. God, we were good. We were in tune, we were playing perfectly together, our dynamics were better then I remembered, and then I remembered why; Mr. Martin. As our rendition of amazing grace began to play I lost it; not much makes me cry.

Sense last year I have tried to look forward. This year, as our new band director managed to do everything wrong I forgot what we sounded like, hearing it now just blew me away. "Was that really us?" I wandered. Because now, we can't even play four bars with out stopping. The heart, the passion, the music is gone. And all because of one really stupid mistake made by the greatest teacher I have ever had.

This year there is no forward to look to. This band is falling apart. This is my last year here, and the thing I loved the most about this school seems to be fading fast. People are threatening to not come back for concert season, and I understand why. We cannot be that good again here. Not only is it impossible with out him, but it almost seems like an insult to be good under this new guy, like saying somehow that he is as good, or that he can replace Mr Martin when we all know he has no idea what he is doing. How can we play for a total idiot? How can we play the music like that again, when the person that made us be able to is gone? How can we play in the epilog of this program? How can we continue to play while we watch this band die?

I remember my freshmen year, quite vividly right now. I remember when I first joined band at DO. I remember the feeling of, "I am part of something big here. Bigger then me, bigger even then the band. We play as one, not as individuals, and in our music we can express something that can never be expressed by any of us alone." I remember the excitement of learning a part well and discovering what music was. I remember torturing poor Mr Birch. I remember the feeling of being separate from the whole school, but in a good way. And I remember that by my Sophomore year there were only 3 things keeping me at public highschool; Friendship, Track, and Band.

I remember when we first saw the music to "The Bombing of Dresden" and went "what the hell?" And then I remember playing it, and suddenly not only did it all make sense, it was cool. I loved that; getting the chance to discover a piece of music. And if we wern't sure if we could, Mr Martin was there, and made us be able to play it.

I remember in Jazz Band he would refuse to sing our parts to us because he wanted us to learn to decipher complex music on our own. I hated him for that then, but now, when I am able to pick up nearly any music and learn it, it is him alone that I can thank. What he wanted for us was not just to have us play, he wanted us to lern to make music under any circumstances. He wanted us to learn how music worked. "Fine College Guys Dance Around Eating Burgers" was something I won't forget soon, as he made us all make up our own accronyms for the circle of fifths (I believe that was Kathy Anderson's). But what he really accelled in was not teaching us just one piece of music; in every piece we played he made us learn much more then that. We learned to be able to play weather he was there or not. And now, because of what he has done, he is not here. And we, are not playing.

If we have learned anything in this, it is that things never quite go as we plan them. I expected to be playing for Mr Martin for 4 years. But I think that if that man taught us anything he taught us how to survive under this circumstance. To play well even if the new director is an idiot. And yet I see us all about to quit. Where does that leave the freshmen, who never knew the man? Will they ever get to feal a part of this band? Are we as seniors going to lead, or just watch this die? If we do not try to make this band be as good as it was, go around Kaweski if necessary, then everything good that Mr Martin did will be lost. Are we willing to watch this band die? From the inside or out? If we are, then he taught us nothing. Do not quit. Display Professionalisim. Be responsible not only for your own parts but for thoes arround you also. Lead like the seniors you are. The only way to truely defiy misfortune, is to overcome it. We must play. The band must march on. Cry not for the past, what's done is done, look to the future, the lower classmen, let not the music die.