It’s official. I have joined the Valparaiso Community/ University Concert Band. My initiation was complete when I played my first concert with the group at the Porter County Fair. Often people’s ears seem to perk up when I tell them I’m in a band. The ensuing confusion at hearing that I play the flute in that band is equally amusing. It’s true that I’m no hip new singer and I can’t lay down an amazing guitar riff. However, when it comes to more traditional, classical ensemble performances, my passion for music is still very much alive.
I started taking piano lessons around kindergarten and I’ve enjoyed playing ever since. I grew up used to the cycle of recitals broken up by weekly lessons. When I reached middle school I decided to pick up the flute and join the band and I count that as one of the best choices I ever made. Despite a ridiculous course load all through college, I always saved a slot in my schedule for band and it never felt like a wasted hour. Band was always a place where I could go to recharge and turn off the daily stresses of everything else. It’s incredibly therapeutic to watch your own growth and improvement. In this area, success was never defined by grades but by my ability to play a passage that I’d been struggling with for two weeks or by the first time I nailed a 32nd note run or by the time I figured out how to play vibrato. I knew I was getting better because I could hear it.
One of my biggest fears moving into adulthood was that music might go by the wayside in all the hustle and bustle of everyday life so when I came to Valpo, one of my first steps was to seek out a community ensemble. I’m so happy to have found VCUCB. In this group, people from all walks of life come together to share their passion, make friends and have fun. All the hard work and Tuesday night rehearsals paid off on July 24th in the Porter County Fair Veteran’s Day Recognition Program that would have given my mom goosebumps. This performance, in all its star spangled glory reminded me of all the reasons that I love to play music and I look forward to many more concerts with this group.