View Single Post
Old 12-24-2017, 11:59 AM   #4032
Double Dragon
phoopes's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,666
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Just read a really great short story here. I'll replicate the text below:

Spoiler: show
I was in the high school band and we had a "chair" system where you could challenge the guy ahead of you to sight read a random piece of music or freestyle something as long as it was musical. The better musicians all had to sight read difficult stuff and the newer people could freestyle since sight reading random stuff was generally more difficult. So it was a given that if chair 2 challenged chair 1, y'all sight reading something wild.

One day our trumpet first chair challenged the TEACHER, Mr. Jones. Everyone ooh'd and ahh'd and laughed but trumpet 1 was like "Nah I'm serious I'm really good let's do this" and Mr. Jones says "well does anybody wanna lend me a trumpet?" And every trumpet extends their instrument out

Mr. Jones goes "so do you wanna freestyle or read?" Which is like a gauntlet slap. Everyone ooh's and ahhhs and the whole room is freaking out and trumpet 1 elects to freestyle.

Trumpet 1 was really good. Naturally talented guy but also was passionate about it so he was constantly learning stuff and practicing. I had never seen Mr. Jones play any instrument before, just give direction, so I was really expecting this to be embarrassing. And it was.

Trumpet 1 plays this wild jazzy piece that was way over all of our heads and he clearly had been working on it outside of class. Jaws were dropping and Mr. Jones was smiling and nodding and snapping with the song. Trumpet 1 finished the song out with this crazy long sustained note and got up and was literally flexing in front of the class like he knew he had won.

While he's flexing and high fiving, Mr. Jones begins to play what sounds like the exact same piece except some little personal flares thrown in here and there. There was a serious rule against talking or fucking around while someone else was playing out of respect but the whole class was going bananas. Trumpet 1 crumpled into the ground and just laid there.

Mr. Jones finished out with the same note but noticeably longer and fuller with a lil more vibrato, cleaned the trumpet off and handed back to the lender.

"So I guess I'll just remain the director."

The rest of the week was punctuated with first chairs challenging Mr. Jones and getting absolutely demolished in front of their classmates over and over again. From flute to tenor sax to tuba to snare, Mr. Jones accepted every challenge, allowed them to pick between free or sight and made them look like complete novices. He never once disrespected anybody but god damn did we clown anyone with the gall to challenge him after trumpet 1 was balled up and thrown away.
This story makes me so, so happy. Reminds me of my own directors in high school. No one "challenged" them like in the story, but it's often really cool to hear your directors play when most of the time they just direct. At the end of every year my choir director would sit at the piano and play and sing "Every Time We Say Goodbye" for the seniors and I'm tearing up just thinking about how beautiful and emotional it was. And I had heard my band director play trumpet before as part of the pit orchestra for musicals but never heard him "show off" so one day during jazz band senior year I asked him if he would take a solo during one of our songs and he absolutely FLOORED me with how incredible it was. High school teachers can be really cool.
phoopes is offline   Reply With Quote