Sure I was in the band. I was in the Symphonic Band. I was in the Brass Band. I was in the Stage Band. I went to Band Camp. My locker was in the Band Hall. My friends were all in the Band. We ate lunch in the Band Room. I even had my name embroidered on the sleeve of my Band jacket.

The only place in high school where an underdeveloped, awkward, timid, myopic teen could fit in was the band. And that I did. I was in a couple choirs too. And did musical theatre.

I've forgotten how much of a Band geek I was at Markville Secondary School. Under the despotic rule of Mr. Hill, we had 6:00pm rehearsals, and we had 7:30am rehearsals. If you chose volleyball practice over your woodwind sectional, you were as good as dead to him. He would not acknowledge your presence in the hallway. He had switched me over from the Baritone Horn to the French Horn because "the furthest the Baritone can take you is the Salvation Army Band."

When I told him I was transferring schools, he said I was making a big mistake. No Wayne, you made the big mistake of never putting me in the A Choir. Jazz choir was a gay old time: standing on the risers with a cardioid mic in your face; smiling with your mouth and your eyebrows; doo-wopping and swaying as if being in the Jazz Choir made you a member of the Music Department elite. I learned a shitload and took it all with me to St. Robert Catholic High School, where I made new band friends. And new musical theatre friends.

Sadly, I was never part of a marching band. But if I was, this is where I would have wanted to be:

What a fun way to work out! Sure beats the arrangement of "Living on a Prayer" we played in Grade 7.


At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You didn't call it simply Band? I was not in Band, just Choir (also no "the") and Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and that was the end of my music life until recently. I nonsensically put JAZZ on the sleeve of my grad jacket, only to give it later to a girlfriend to wear as a kind of trophy. Tyrannical music teacher... Are all Canadian school systems identical?

At 12:12 AM, Blogger Lottie said...

We did simply call it Band. And Choir. I'd completely forgotten about that :) I doubt that all school systems are like that, only those who hire band geeks who were bullied in high school...


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