Monday, November 9, 2009

Robert Browning: "Who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once."

Although it would be a lovely though temerarious walk, my Beloved and I don't wander about the side-walkless, motor-bandited, and poorly-lit trail to the local High School in the evening. But every night -- and long into the night, as that's apparently how the echoes work out here in the conservation-protected wilds of South Dartmouth -- my Beloved and I are treated to the "The Gift of Music."
Which is exactly the title of the program that our neighbors, the Dartmouth High School Marching Band and Color Guard, performed in order to win their second National Championship in two years.
If one wades through the SouthCoastToday.Com article linked to above, one finds that Music Director Bill Kingsland has precisely the proper winning philosophy necessary in band competitions. And, ultimately, in life.

"The key to success was eliminating errors from the performance, he [Kingsland] said."

I have never heard a more fitting injunction, except that one from my middle school band instructor who said, "Learn it right, or don't bother playing it at all!" A little more of a command than an encouragement toward meritorious consummation, but we got the idea. And none of us went on to play in the high school band. Or, for that matter, do anything more musical than holler lyrics and stage dive. (At least, that's what the guy with the candy-apple red Rickenbacker said when he handed me back my microphone, harmonica, and metaphoric hat.)
Some bands have opportunities that others don't have because they are a team whose members understand cooperation, collusion, and collaboration.
There will be those who give their all...
Stella Stevens, OverachieverNancy Carroll (no relation)
Some bring something special to their instruments...
Sophia Loren on accordion Debbie Reynolds' got a squeezebox
And some simply bring their instruments. Which is also special...
Tina Louise on tamborineJayne Mansfield ON
But all play what we play best...Björk

(This presentation includes photographs of Stella Stevens, Nancy Carroll, Sophia Loren, Debbie Reynolds, Tina Louise, Jayne Mansfield, and Björk Guðmundsdóttir.)

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