on unusual doubling

Well, tomorrow is the annual Three Rivers Community Band Festival. Four bands from the area will perform, and then a "festival band" made up of volunteer musicians from all around the area -- and some from Ohio, too, like my friend Cari who is coming in to play bassoon!

I'm playing with the Festival Band for the second year in a row. Jon played last year, and was going to play this year but was sent to far away places by The Man. I, myself, will only be with the trombone section of the Festival Band for three of the four pieces on the program, and I'll be hanging out by the chimes and vibraphone for the fourth piece.

This isn't the first time I've switched instruments for one piece in a concert, and probably won't be the last. This is actually remarkably common for the AWCB -- three or four people rotate into the percussion section from wind sections depending on the percussion needs of the pieces being played. Two years ago, I played a pretty rockin' bass drum line on Danza Final. I learned to play percussion by pretty much learning on the fly in the University Band at the RLMU, thanks to some very patient sectionmates who frequently had to teach me things like "how to hold the tambourine". I played percussion in that band for three years (and somehow eventually attained section leadership, those fools), and sometimes I miss taking out my aggressions on a pair of crash cymbals.

At any rate, I've never really seen a band that had as much regular section-switching as the AWCB. I'm not sure if that's simply a function of my lack of experience with community bands in general and the practices associated, or if it's yet another way that the AWCB is unusual. At any rate, it gives me a chance to hit something (which may be quite welcome), and rest my trombone chops for a little while at least.

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