Three concerts in three days

This week was crazy.  We had wind ensemble concerts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!  Its been a long time since I’ve had that many real performances in a row

View from the back of the stage at Wednesday night’s concert. And yes, that is the Atlantic ocean in the background…

(I don’t consider our military ceremony gigs real performances).    And to make it even better, we played the Mendelssohn Concertpiece on the Wednesday night concert.  Luckily, we got the mornings off on all those days to rest up, which was nice.  Tuesday we played on a stage at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront (we had played the same one a week prior).  It was an ok venue, and ok audience.  We played ok.  So it was an ok concert.

Wednesday night we played at another stage at the oceanfront, which was much bigger and much better.  I actually felt like there were actual acoustics!  And the audience loved us.  And I got to perform the Mendelssohn for the last time on this awesome stage.  All in all, a great concert.  Made me remember why I do what I do.

Thursday night’s concert was…interesting.  We played at Fort Monroe (where we had played a month and a half earlier) but we didn’t take into account that there would be a lot less daylight than the last time we had a concert there.  We didn’t have stand lights of course, so we were completely reliant on the sun for our light.  So we ended up having to cut about half of our program simply because we couldn’t see our music!  By the time we were finished, it was almost completely dark out.  Oops.  And it was our last concert with our current director, he’s moving on to another band and we’re getting a new guy next week.  Should be interesting!

Something else of note that happened this week, on Monday I got out my A clarinet to practice and I discovered that one of the plastic thingies that holds the joint together on the pinky keys broke off!  My left hand B/E was flailing around like crazy.  So it was back to the repair shop for me!  This is something I couldn’t fix.  I went back to the place that unstuck my clarinet, and not only did the guy there fix it, he fixed it for no charge!  He even had to retrofit a Buffet part that was too big to fit in my Leblanc.

This is what broke (its fixed now)

I was so pleased with the customer service.  I couldn’t believe it.  And he was actually nice!  The repair people I’ve used always seem so old and crotchety and pissed off at the world.  And they seem always lecture me about little things that are wrong with my clarinet.  Or they are judging me for having a Leblanc, and not a Buffet.  That’s why I always tried to avoid them like the plague.  This guy wasn’t like that at all.  I think I’ve found a rare bird!

Speaking of repair people, this broken part has shown me that it really is time…time to get an overhaul on both my Bb and A.  I’ve had both for 8 years, and some of the pads are still original!  I got a name of someone in Philadelphia, which is an acceptable driving distance (I don’t want to ship my instruments), so once I can get the funds in place I’m gonna do it!  Its nice that I have a decent “Navy” clarinet, so I won’t be clarinet-less for the time they are getting worked on.  I can’t wait, they are going to feel like new again!

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