Tonight was the middle school Christmas concert. I have always felt that there is a special place in heaven reserved for middle school band directors. To take a bunch of hormonal pre-teens and give them brass instruments and woodwinds and percussion and try to coax something resembling music out of them... I can't imagine what would possess a person to find that to be an appealing job description, but I am very grateful for the souls who make a go of it and listen to that cacophony day in and day out with the hope that it will somehow improve. Lord knows that the ninety minutes I have to spend listening to them every six months is almost more than I can take.
Tonight, as the seventh grade band started into their first piece, Terzo perked up.
"Hey, I know this song! I love this song!"
Me: "Really? You've heard this song before?" (It was called "African Rhythms" or something like that, not "Jingle Bells" or another tune he might recognize.)
Him: "Yes! I hear this one all the time!"
Me (thinking somehow that the sound from the band room filters into his kindergarten class; they are all in the same K-8 school): "In your class? You hear it during school?"
Him: (after giving me his withering what-are-you-talking-about, you-silly-fool look, with a little shake of his head for emphasis) "No! I heard it last time! They play this song every time."
And upon reflection, I realized that he was right. If you close your eyes, you do just hear a kind of "blat blat screech boom whistle blat crash" sort of sound that is surprisingly similar from piece to piece and concert to concert.
As I said, my hat is off to those middle school band directors.