Friday, January 29, 2010

Marimba Misfortune

I wish I had the time to expound on all of the music in my life.  Someday I will.  I started playing piano when I was 4 years old and music has been interwoven into everything I've done since then.  Today you will have to be placated with the story of my marimba misfortune.

In High School, and on through Junior College, I was the resident catch all percussionist for the band.  I played everything except the snare, timpani and bass drums.  As a sophomore at Italy High I was encouraged to compete in solo competitions.  That year I competed in piano solo and marimba solo competition.  First I attended the district mete.  The piano judge was impressed and excitedly recommended me to compete in the Texas state competition.  Then I played my marimba solo and cheated and slurred through the difficult passage.  The judge wasn't fooled.  She recommended me to go to state as well, with a caveat that I practice hard.

I hardly practiced.  And, a couple of weeks later my older brother Dave, as my accompanist, and I headed to Austin, TX for the big state competition.  I played my piano solo for the judges first.  I was given a mid-range score.  But, they were very impressed that I had learned the solo on my own without a teacher.  Dave and I found some lunch and wandered around the school until it was time for the marimba solo.  We got there with a couple of minutes to spare but the judge was already waiting outside.  He asked if I had numbered my measures.  I had forgotten.  So, I frantically began numbering.  Soon my judge was joined by a second judge.  And, after a few minutes my judge asks, "which piece will you be playing."  I told him.  At that, the second judge doubled over in laughter.  A little flustered I looked at my judge.  He says, "I think I know that one pretty well."  At that point the second judge gains enough composure to gesture at the name on the door.  I'm sure the color drained from my already petrified face as I read the name.  The composer of my solo was also my judge!  How could I go on?  How could I fake my way through a piece he knew by heart?

Dave and I shuffled into the room.  We fumbled, slurred and butchered the song in front of it's maker.  At one point I made the mistake of looking up.  He steadily looked back at me and I almost dropped my mallets.  Needless to say I did not get a good score that day.  But, it is an experience I will never forget.

1 comment:

  1. Oh. My! I would have lost it. Wow, what are the odds? Thanks for the story.