Monday, December 19, 2016

Why I like this song

Have you seen the contest on Facebook about getting through the holiday season without hearing Little Drummer Boy?

I have a special fondness for that song. When I first switched from playing flute to oboe the fall of 7th grade, I felt like I found my true instrument. I've seen this with other people too: when you find the on that fits your personality and lets you do things you want to do, it becomes more than just being in band.

All seventh graders played in what our conductor called beginner band (we were all so miffed--beginner band was that thing we played in last year and this year we were big bad seventh graders!) But because I switched to oboe, I got to play in the advanced band for our winter concert. That band always played an arrangement of the Little Drummer Boy that had a oboe duet. Normally Mr. Connally tried to have two oboists in each band (partly, it must be said, so they could encourage each other). That year, he had only one in the advanced band so had me play second oboe. Well I was flattered and scared and confident and so excited. This was a Very Big Deal as far as I was concerned.

I managed to get through the song and not totally embarrass myself, although I'm sure the other girl and I probably sounded like dying ducks. After all, oboe is one of the hardest woodwind instruments to play and I had a whopping six or eight weeks of experience by the time we performed that song. She had a year more than me but as I recall, she quit after that year. Oboe will do that to you, you either love it or you hate it.

Anyway, ever since that concert I've sort of considered that song mine. Silly, I know, but I think that's true of every piece I've ever performed, even the ones I didn't like playing.

I leave you with Pentatonix' version of Little Drummer Boy, which is light years better than my debut as an oboist way back when.


Jeanne said...

Have you ever gotten to play the duck in Peter and the Wolf?

Elizabeth said...

Oh yes! And also the English horn solo in William Tell.