Monday, February 20, 2012

This one time, at band camp...

So tonight, my co-worker Brittany uttered that infamous line..."This one time, at band camp..."

It was the joke of the decade, about a decade ago.

Perhaps you know, perhaps you don't, but my friends and I were all big band geeks during high school.

Back up a second.

In music programs there are generally three main sects of music student. You know how Islam has the Sunni, Shia and Sufis? Well, music programs have band, orchestra, and choir. Ha! Bet you never saw that "compare and contrast" in your old English text books!

Anywho, I'll skip over the orchestra, and choir sects because, frankly, I don't care what happens in Choirville.

The important sect of the music world, the band, is divided into many small factions. Each contributing to the whole in their own distinct way. Each section, I noticed, has a personality to it.

So let's explore the band today, shall we?

First up, the flutes.

The flute section is comprised of high strung, borderline OCD, overachievers. I'm serious. Often times the first chair (aka, the best flute player in the section based on the band director's opinion), is practically a robot with all the things she (sometimes a he, but rarely), is involved with. Flutes tend to be chatty Cathys, and annoy the shit out of all the sections around them. There are a few down-to-earth types, but alas, they're few and far between.

Moving along to...the Clarinets.

Clarinets are much like cheerleaders when ya think about it. Cheerleaders are kind of the dance/ poms team dropouts, much like clarinets are flute rejects. They didn't quite make the cut. Or maybe they just didn't care enough to try.Many clarinet players enjoy the social aspect of band over the musical aspect. They don't take it too seriously, and are often the section of choice when it comes to inter-dating amongst band members.

Saxophones try to be bad-asses. They rarely succeed. Don't get me wrong, they can be pretty jazzy at times, and make me wanna play some Sinatra as I'm trying to convince luck to be a lady at the local casino, but they aren't rock star material. They're just average Joes (and Janes) who tend to enjoy the band experience, but try not to let it show too much...

Low Brass: The low brass section is comprised of Baritones, Tubas, Trombones, and occasionally a Barry Sax player who, apparently, has been shunned from his own community. Low brass really isn't a section though. They're just kind of leftovers. Even more disorganized than the clarinets, the low brass section tends to hold a plethora of personality types, but oftner than not, they can be divided into one of three categories.

1) Really talented, and love band with all their heart, mind and soul.
2) Really love band, but really suck at their instrument
3) Really hate music in general (Mom and Dad made them join band).

The trumpet section is generally...hmmm. Very loud. Not just in playing, but in personality as well. They will often offer opinions where they aren't needed. They can be very boisterous, and not very tactful. Trumpets are glory whores. Plain and simple. They love to be heard, looked at, and admired, (worshiped?) even if every one else thinks they're just a bunch of a-holes.

French Horns: Neither high brass, or low brass, nor even french. If I hadn't looked at a seating chart of the band, I wouldn't have known this section even existed. One can tell they're talking to a french horn player by the vacant dreamy expression that can be found on their faces.

Percussion: Have you ever noticed that percussionists are always tapping on anything their hands are near? This is a section full of un-diagnosed-ADHD-spazzy McGee's. They generally take a band course because it's an easy "A", and they can fulfill the constant need they have to beat on things...even if it's completely out of place in the music.

And finally...

The Colorguard.

Not technically part of the band, as they have no musical talent, but who doesn't love people who can throw rifles, sabres, and shit, and not die? Holla!


Laena said...

I was going to write a long, wordy comment in response to your post, but then I realized my response had enough content to be its own blog post. So you'll have to read it there some time. This made me laugh a lot.

Josh said...

Haha, I think several previous comments were borderline blog posts, and I didn't mind. However, I'll enjoy looking for your take. :)

Corinne said...

Haha, fun post :) And it's true, I never died. Not even once.

Erika said...

I laughed out loud during this post. I never knew band geeks had such a deep and intricate dynamic. Being a choir dork myself I find the insight to be like my own band nature special on Animal Planet!

I really enjoy your blog. I lurk, but this post was too funny.

Josh said...

Darn right you didn't Corinne! :p

and Erika...I'm glad you chose not to lurk on this one! hahaha Thanks for commenting though, for real! I wouldn't have known you read if you hadn't! :D

Naomi said...

Colorguard has some musical talent. Most of us are actually in a different music branch is all,at least at my school.
And dang right we never died.After the rehearsals though some of us were begging for mercy.

Josh said...

Hahaha. I can relate to those days! :p