What’s your passion? Mine is music.
I have been playing the flute for 23 years. My desire to play started back in elementary school when we went to an assembly to see the junior high band play what must have been very poor music in the school cafetorium (when the auditorium and cafeteria are combined). I saw the flute players with their shiny silver wands and decided then and there that I would play the flute someday. I went straight home and told my parents as much, and being the wonderful parents they are, they looked right into it and found that as a fourth-grader I was too young to begin playing in the school band. (This was supposed to be because my young hands and arms were not big enough to make it work. Never mind that I could wrap my arm around my head to feed myself a bottle as a baby).
So I waited a year before my parents rented me my first Gemeinhardt from the local music store and sent me on my way. It started out slowly and I’m sure was a bit painful for the ears of all involved, but I was hooked on my first airy notes of Love Me Tender. My first concerts were miserable affairs with squeaking clarinets, blasting trumpets, and banging but enthusiastic percussionists. How any person can be an elementary school band director is beyond me.
In junior high I was introduced to my band director Mr. Perry and the band mates with whom I would make life-long friends with and learn what making music is really all about. We were a talented group for our age and went to competitions and festivals that exposed me to music in a way I didn’t realize existed. Mr. Perry was a brave soul who took us all the way to California to see my fist of many viewings of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic Phantom of the Opera. Just like with the flute in the first place; I was hooked on music. I picked up the piccolo in my seventh grade year and was on my way to high school band.
I started high school my freshman year before actual school even began by attending my first Corona del Sol High school Marching Band Camp, where I met Mr. Bill Richardson, my band director and forever role model. I was terrified and exhilarated to be in a place where I would learn the art of marching while playing and once again fell in love with all things musical. In marching band I played the piccolo and went on to be a section leader for three of my four years of high school. I served on the Band Council for three years and performed in the Marching Band, Varsity Band, Wind Symphony, and even picked up the trumpet to pay with the Junior Varsity Band in my senior year. (I told you; I was hooked!)
In my senior year of high school I decided that I would go on to college as a Music Education major and auditioned at several universities around the nation before deciding to go on a music scholarship to the University of Arizona. I ended up spending two years there before life got in the way and I dropped out.
My musical history from there is varied and sporadic, although I never left the world of music for long. I played with the Arizona Wind Symphony and Awhatukee Foothills Concert Band, as well as some church groups. I dabbled in playing for weddings and special occasions and continued along the path towards a musical life in my spare time. Music had taken somewhat of a backseat to my life in general, but I always came to it for solace.
Here I am 23 years later and I am so proud to be enrolled in college once again and playing with the Arizona State University Concert Band. I’m paying under a doctoral student in the music program who is enthusiastic and talented, and her joy for the group makes me long for my days at the UofA School of Music. Here I am wondering how I could have ever left that life lapse. Right now I am taking every opportunity to play and recently performed with the Alla Breve Flute Choir for a concert. As you can imagine, I loved every moment of it. After all of these years, I am still hooked.
What is your passion? Is there a dream that you have had in life that you followed to fruition? Or maybe there is a dream you abandoned and have always regretted? I’m looking forward to hearing your stories and finding out about how you fit your dreams into your daily life.
Music is my dream and I will find a way to fit it into my everyday life. Even if it is not the focus of my main attention, it will always be the focus of my main desire.