Last night as the final notes of Duke Ellington's Take the A Train resonated from OU's 12:30 Jazz Ensemble, a chapter of my life came to a close.

As a member in good standing of this jazz ensemble, those last notes represented the finale of my musical career at the University of Oklahoma, and my last concert in Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall.

And I've had a lot of quality memories in that place with multiple ensembles: Trombone Choir, Symphony Band, The Pride, Jazz Band, Norman North Band, Norman North Choir, and the list continues. There have been a lot of concerts, and a lot of powerful musical moments.

But I also remember concerts from the early days -- the CODA Honor Band in middle school, back before I had my trusty Conn 88H with an F attachment. And I think we all nostalgically remember back to that milestone in our childhoods -- the day we got F attachments on our trombones. Such a good day...

And I recall the summer after 10th grade playing Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust with the Oklahoma Honors Wind Ensemble. I popped out the phrase of fourth-ledger-line high B-flats like it was cake. It was double forte and I nailed it. Shazaam! I'd be lucky to hit those notes at all now...

But these are good memories. Memories of rhythm and texture and timbre -- of brass and of voices. And there are memories of people -- blending voices and instruments of individuals to make collective music. And of course, the jokes backstage before the concerts were a good time.

Playing in musical ensembles has been one of the most enlightening experiences of my life and of my time at OU. I would be a different person without these experiences.

And I don't know when or if I'll play in Sharp Hall again on the resonant pine stage. But I'm thankful for the music that I helped to make there, and for the people I know as a result.

So here's to music. And ensembles. And people. And a lot of time well spent.

1 Response to 'Finale of Sound -- a nastalgic post'

  • Anonymous said...'> 11:13 AM

    Mom says,
    "I agree that music experiences are by far the best memories in all our school years. We are so blessed to have enjoyed many years of wonderful music from our kids. John,here's to you!