Monday, March 10, 2008

Memory Monday

You know, there are lots of "post starters" out there that people participate in...there's Wordless Wednesday, Thursday Thirteen, a Self Portrait Tuesday (can't find a good link, the name may have changed).

But poor old Monday...no one ever does anything for it. So...I'm starting something.

I challenge each of you to post a memory on Mondays.


My memory today:

I woke up with a song in my head this morning...it was "My Old Flame"...why?

The memory was startlingly clear:

I started playing the trumpet at age 9 or 10. As I got better, I loved playing it more, and looked for opportunities to better myself. From a small town, with not a lot of resources (read: money), and not a lot of educational opportunities to advance in music...I did what I could. My dream was to attend the elusive summer music program held at the University of Maine at Orono..."Music Camp". I knew we couldn't afford it. But I desperately wanted to go. All the other "good" trumpet players around the county got to go every year....Carrie Holden, Albert Spinney...they were names and faces I knew from years of sitting next to them at All-Aroostook Band (all-county for you non-Maine folk who might not understand), and they were GOOD. They had the privilege of private lessons; they had the money to go to camp.

The spring of my junior year of high school, I had been talking to a woman who was a member of the Lions Club Auxiliary. I can't remember why or what I had done with the Auxiliary, but we got on the subject of music camp. She encouraged me to write a letter to the Auxiliary leaders, asking for a scholarship, so I did. I wasn't sure I'd get one. I had applied to the music camp scholarship program itself and had been denied. I had a few friends from my hometown attending camp that year, too...that just made it all the more important for me to go!

I was THRILLED when I the Lions Club Auxiliary gave me a scholarship. That meant I could go. I didn't have much, if any, spending money, but it didn't matter...I could GO! I made arrangements to travel to UMO with my friend Tricia, who was going as well.

When we got to camp, we were checking in. I had the money ready to pay for my glorious camp. (It was the first time EVER that I had attended any kind of camp...away from home without ANY relatives at all!). It was then that I discovered that my scholarship money would only pay for one week. I was devastated. I had no way home after only one week, as Tricia was there for 2 weeks and her parents would be picking me up. I explained my situation to the registrar. They said they'd put me in for any scholarships that may have been turned down, but there was no guarantee. Later that evening, I found out that I'd been approved for a FULL two week scholarship! That left me with a balance of money? What to do? I called my mom...she contacted someone from the Auxiliary and let them know what happened. They said that I could keep the money for spending...paying for meals and such if needed, that I deserved it and didn't have to return it.

OH, what joy!

I did the required auditions. I was selected for concert band, in the first trumpet section. I auditioned, and was selected, to the Jazz band. I'd never played much jazz, so I was excited. I was assigned to the 3rd trumpet part, my buddy Albert joining me at 2nd trumpet. We had tons of rehearsals for everything. I got to sing for a "non-related" talent show (meaning you had to do something that didn't involve your main instrument), I did duets with Albert for a recital...and I LOVED Jazz Band. Turned out, I had a solo in one song. The one I mentioned above...My Old Flame. Solo...not a big deal. But there were 4 bars of improvisation...I did NOT know how to do this. Play any old thing based on chord structure? ME? I had NO clue! Luckily, I was also getting lessons. And the guy giving lessons was one of my "idols" from my hometown...Pat Hennessey (I think that's his last name). He was patient and actually helped me "learn" a solo based on the improv chords. It never sounded the same twice, but I knew I could pull it off.

On concert night, I was nervous, but confident. I remember going up to the microphone for my solo. Someone snapped a picture. I had on a dress...I know I have the picture somewhere...if I can find it, I'll scan it. I played the solo well, and I was quite happy with my performance.

Music Camp was quite the experience for me. I remember many names: Craig Skeffington, Steve Bryant....all were fantastic musicians. I wonder what became of all these people?


That's MY memory Monday....my challenge to you? Post a Memory Monday...label it as such...and link back to this blog so that I can post a roll of folks who participated. And pass it on to your fellow bloggers, too!

3 comments:

Suzanne said...

Linda, what a great memory! That was a really fun read for me, I'm so glad you decided to share. I am so glad you got both those scholarships, you totally deserved them. I grew up not being able to afford anything too. It sucked. So I'm extra glad you got to go to music camp and have such an amazing memory for the rest of your life.

SAHM & Military Wife said...

Great idea, Memory Monday.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Your comment on my post "Proper Blogger Etiquette" answered my question.

Berry Patch said...

First, LOVE the memory & you KNOW I know all about The County! :-) I'm definitely going to have to join in on this - love the idea of Memory Monday. Let's just hope I remember. I'm thinking a big old sticky note might help! :-)