For me, RP is a return to an activity I loved in my youth, a chance to be part of a working whole, and one of the few things I get to do for myself these days. I first heard about RP on a CBC show, and the people quoted sounded so happy about it, and Resa sounded so laid back and welcoming, that I got on-line and e-mailed her right away. I used to "take up" my instrument again every few years, (in the over 3 decades since high school), but always lost momentum in the end, because it just isn't as much fun without a band! Now I enjoy the band practices, and I enjoy feeling challenged to regain the skills I once had (maybe even going beyond that, someday).
Kate, 4th horn.
Some thirty-odd years ago as I was finishing high school, I was forced to make a difficult decision about my future: Music or Medicine. I figured, well, I can always have music, no matter what I do in life. But studying, working raising a family--somehow I never got back to playing the French horn. I still could play the piano, but the piano is a lonely instrument! My kids went to a school that didn't have a music program until last year, and I was delighted when they finally introduced a concert band program.
"Wow", I told my youngest daughter, the only one to benefit from this program, "Now you can experience the wonderful feeling of making music with a group of people. The camaraderie, the laughter, the thrill of hearing your small piece of the musical puzzle fit into a beautiful, complex piece of music. The joy of performing for an appreciative audience." Things I have missed since I put down the French horn so many years ago.
"But Mom", she replied, "I don't want to take music." I was so disappointed. But, I realized that I was trying to re-live my "glory days" vicariously , through my children. This past summer, I was introduced to Resa's Pieces at a casual dinner with friends, among them, R.P. Flautist, Susan Wainstock. "You should join," Susan encouraged me. My response was, "But I haven't played in over 30 years!" Well, it is sort of like riding a bike! I am thrilled to have joined the band and am enormously grateful to Susan and Resa for encouraging me to give it a try. Also, thanks to my fellow band members who have welcomed me so warmly into the fold!
The French horn was first played in 1650 in France. It consists of about 12 feet of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. It is the second highest sounding instrument group in the brass family. The conical bore (as opposed to the cylindrical bore of the trumpet or trombone), is largely responsible for its characteristic, distinctive and most beautiful mellow tone.
Three hundred and more years later, at the start of junior high school, my music teacher handed me a large black awkward shaped suitcase and declared “this one’s for you”. I cradled the instrument in my arms, put my lips to the mouthpiece and attempted to make music.
Thirty years or more later, Resa handed me a folio of music, a large black awkward shaped suitcase and declared “it’s like riding a bicycle...the music is in you!” And indeed it is.
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” B Auerbach