As well as the huge pleasure of playing for friends and family in the audience, we have had a lot of family in the band over the years. We’ve had a father-son team in our clarinets section, a mother-daughter as our whole bassoon section, several wife-and-husband pairs across sections, brother-and-sister sometimes with a mother or father, and various aunts/uncles/nieces/nephews/cousins combinations.
This week one of our trumpet players brought his 7 year old daughter along. He wanted to let her see the beginning of the process, so she could see how many refinements we make to bring a piece from the first time we read through it to the point of being polished and ready to perform.
She started out sitting quietly next to dad, in the back row. John had us all say a group hello to her, as we usually do for visitors. And not too many minutes had passed before she decided to creep around to sit on the stairs at the front, watching the whole band from a place she could see all our faces. Next thing was John persuaded her to sit in the conductor’s chair, nice and tall, so he could show her the score, and let her see where were the notes for the part her dad was playing. And just before our coffee break, she accepted John’s baton, and conducted the whole band as we played the Lion King.
Her dad took her home to bedtime right after that, but he reported that there was so much grinning going on that actual sleep didn’t look to be soon to arrive. Magic for one seven year old and for a whole bandful of mothers and fathers and sons and daughters.