Today was the end of the Rochester Civic Theater's run of Les Miserables. I played in the orchestra for nine of the performances. It is one of the greatest musical experiences of my life.
I think I have finally, after 52 years of playing, become a musician.
I have been blessed over the years to have had many opportunities and musical experiences. Going all the way back to high school I first played in a Tijuana Brass-type group and a church-based trumpet group. In college our concert band and the Yale Band played in Carnegie Hall and I wrote a field drill that we used as the closing drill of my senior year's football season.
I have had the excitement of playing at a circus performance at Circus World in Baraboo, WI with the Watertown Community Band and a Gershwin concert with the Minnesota Valley Band. My first band solo in over 20 years was with the Watertown Band on my 40th birthday. I have played trumpet at a workshop with several top-level pros. I have played bluegrass guitar with members of Monroe Crossing at a bluegrass camp.
I have played numerous solos, duets and others in churches. I have welcomed Easter Dawn many years in Moravian Cemeteries with my trumpet.
Over the past 5 years I have had the joy of playing in a Big Band and Brass Quintet in addition to the Community Band.
Now I have played in the pit for one of the great musicals along with an amazing cast and crew that would give any professional company a run for their money.
When the run came to an end today I was feeling awe-struck by the opportunity and the pleasure I have had. I have found myself immersed in the music and the story. I have discovered more about music than I thought one could ever learn by just sitting in a pit orchestra and confirmed many ideas that I hope to capitalize on in my own musical journey ahead. I will be writing a number of posts about Les Mis as well as the experience.
I hope it isn't the last time I get to play in The Pit, but this would be hard to beat! (Music Man or Chicago come to mind. Fiddler on the Roof or Man of La Mancha would be awesome, too. Oh, Phantom of the Opera and Wicked could be fun.)
Any way. What's next?
No guess on that. Two weeks from today I will play in my first quintet recital. Ever! We've been working at it and are excited about a good mix of pieces from classic brass quintet music to contemporary songs.
It seems like a never-ending stream of experiences.
I continue to be amazed at what can happen even as one gets into those upper ranges of life. But, hey! I'm only 65!