By Steve McKay
As some of you may know, I’ve been tooting a trumpet for a really long time now (more than 50 years.) I also started playing a flugelhorn a few years ago, which is a mellower sounding version of the trumpet.
Playing a trumpet for over 5 decades has afforded me opportunities to be part of a bunch of bands and orchestras since 1969, from grade school through college.
For the past few weeks, our family has been attending holiday concerts our grandkids have performed in; our grands play the trombone, alto-sax, trumpet and euphonium. Watching them play with their bands inspires me to reminisce about the good old days when I was on a stage as part of a band or orchestra.
Thinking back to my music experiences, I recall quite well how awful we sounded as a group at the beginning of each year. Clarinets would squeak, all manner of horns would squawk, and the misadventures of the percussion section would add to the chaos. The music seemed difficult, and caused us to question whether or not we would ever get things together in time for our concerts. As the weeks and months passed, we would rehearse regularly under the supervision of our conductor.
Eventually, we began to understand and hear the music better, with each one of us developing an increased awareness as to our individual roles while performing the music. Harmonies began to come together, bringing richness and depth to the tunes. Lo and behold, as we drew closer to concert time, our confidence increased and our playing rose to the occasion as we performed for our parents and friends.
Our success depended on each band member understanding their unique role in the larger group. The drum section needed to work with the flutes, the tubas had to work in conjunction with the saxophones, and so on. When we did that, we could play some beautiful music together.
The Celtics presently have a bunch of talent, even more than last year. Back in October, expectations were high that the Celts would top their division this season, with an eye on challenging for the NBA title. But it seems the bandmates haven’t yet jelled.
What will it take? I suppose more rehearsals are in order, but for the Shamrocks to find success during this year’s campaign, they’re going to have to pay more attention to the conductor of the band. Less worry about who’s going to play the solos, with more attention being paid to the dude directing the music, please.
Here’s hoping the Celtics will hit less sour notes in favor of playing some beautiful music together as we step into 2019. Go green!