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A Blogging We Will Go

It is with gratitude and humility that I accept the invitation to blog for a group of such wonderful people with whom I’ve been having the unique pleasure of working since Capital BrassWorks was formed some 12 years ago, some of its members with whom I’ve worked in the NACO for more than 25 years now (how the time doth fly). Through these blogs, I hope to bring you into our world and share not only the “nuts and bolts” (or, in our case, the “crooks and valves”) but some of the more “intimate” (dare I say?) details of what it’s like to be part of such an amazing “brass-roots” organization (see: corny trombonist’s humor).

For example, last Friday, March 11, we were coming to the end of our first of a half dozen rehearsals that we will have for our upcoming Dramatic Brass concert at a new venue, Parkdale United, On Friday, March 25 (shameless plug) where we’ll be releasing our fabulous 4th CD entitled Brass Britannia (another shameless plug). As often happens when we’re intensely involved in our work, carefully crafting each phrase, attending to each minute detail, there comes a time where things start to…well, come off the rails…we start to get a wee bit punchy, perhaps because of all of that blowing we do, loss of oxygen, etc.. Our fearless conductor, Alain Cazes, an excellent tuba player in his own right, doing his best to keep us focused to the very last note, gets a call on his cell. Meanwhile, his darling wife Louise has accompanied him to Ottawa from their hometown of Montreal and she’s sitting quietly off to one side of the rehearsal room. Someone blurts out, “It’s your wife! She’s wondering why you’re not spending more time with her!” Laughter ensues. His reply, “Shh, not so loud. It’s my other wife!” Amidst more howls of laughter, he then adds with his customary huge, warm-hearted grin, “Hey folks, we’re supposed to look like we’re working here!”

Well, to me, that just about sums it up. I feel so very blessed to be with co-workers whose attitudes are such that, as long as we’re making the best music we can, we see the making and sharing of music as a wonderful form of therapy and multiple doses of laughter are definitely the best medicine. We do take our music-making very seriously, but not ourselves too seriously and I think we’ve been successful in communicating the essence of that to our audience all of these years, many of whom faithfully attend all of our concerts. For this we are eternally grateful.