Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm the World's Worst Xylophone Player

I've enjoyed participating in the A to Z Challenge like so many others but am I the only one who is tired? This X post is a stretch but it is all I have in me right now.

In high school, I was in the marching band. I know what you are thinking. Dork. Yes, I was but I was also happy in high school and actually had a really great experience. I'd choose being a band geek and happy over being popular and miserable. Anyway, I played the flute and I was okay at it. We marched during the fall and participated in symphonic band in the spring. During my junior year, it was time to transition to the next level of symphonic band. This band was special. It was strictly for juniors and seniors only.

I thought I was pretty cool. Hey, I was a junior. Then, I got the terrible news from my band director. He called me and one other fellow flute player into his office and explained that we weren't good enough playing the flute to transition to the junior/senior symphonic band. He did have two openings in other sections: one of us could play the french horn and the other could be in the drumline.

Hello, drumline. Meet Mr. Xylophone. I had never played drums, piano, xylophone, tamberine or symbols in my life. We taped the notes to the keys with masking tape because I couldn't remember which ones were which. This is how I played at school. I did the best I could but my wrists just don't move like one needs them to when participating in a drumline.

I practiced for months and finally it was time for our county symphonic band competition. One component of these competitions is going into a room, being presented with a piece of music that no one has seen, having five minutes to practice and then playing for judges. Guess what? My xylophone was not equipped with masking tape notes. I was completely lost. I told our drumline leader that I couldn't play. He was a senior and in charge so he made me play the symbols instead. I had never played symbols before. Never even held them in my hands let alone play them.

The band is playing along and here comes Jaime's part - I think there were four or five symbols hits (I don't even know what they are called). When my turn came, I slammed those symbols together so hard that I almost dropped them. I put all of my energy and strength into my part. I was nervous but proud that I actually played them in count with the music.

When it was over, we walked out of the competition in a proud straight line. As soon as we got outside, I heard a classmate say, "Who the fudge (he didn't say "fudge") was playing the symbols?" I just pretended I didn't hear him. Did I mention it was a really soft song that we were playing?

The point of this reflection: there really isn't one. I just wanted to point out that I'm the world's worst xylophone player and also the world's loudest symbol player.

Y and Z, here I come.


  1. Why is ut when one is tired going through the alphabet does X have to come near the end?

    Enjoyed your post and yes Y and Z here we come.


  2. HA! Funny and good. I love band geeks! Band kids are disciplined and smart. It's great to combine a few letters, isn't it? And you're not the only one who's tired. I'm pooped. But don't know what I'll write about next week!

  3. I was looking forward to this post today. I was literally laughing so hard in silent (my husband is still sleeping). Sight reading is hard, and you played! 2 more posts, hang in there, almost there at the finish line.

  4. Fun post! I was also a band geek, but I played the clarinet. I had some of my best times in band. :)

  5. Jaime, I played the tuba in band and was also a proud band geek. One concert right before a competition, I zoned out while playing and it turns out I took off and left the rest of the band behind on a polka. When I finally woke from my zone, the band director's face was all wild eyed and "what-the-heck(I am sure he wasn't thinking heck)-are-you-doing?!!" Aaaahhh the memories! Way to go!

  6. Yes this challenge has been exhausting, sleep depriving but fun!