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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JackTheMusician, Jan 6, 2014.
I just found my first trumpet! Its in Awful condition haha!
"I never, ever, thought of spending a day outside of music.
Now there's a person that's well aware of addiction and a person I can relate to.
Royal Marine Band! I'm not sure if I'm quite that good just yet haha!
But they teach you to be. Phone John Packers, in Taunton and ask to talk to Steve Herbert the Brass Manager. He was RMB for some 15 years or so. He'll tell you what is required.
I didn't have a backup plan, but things were a bit different in 1986 when I was 16 and competition in music wasn't quite as fierce as it is now. My plan was to have a career in music - not necessarily as a player per se, but leaning heavily toward that with the backup plan to wind up as a high school music/band teacher. The former happened, at least for a time. The latter never did, for reasons I'll touch on in a minute.
Back in 1986, I was a Freshman/Sophomore in high school, and thought I was the cat's pajamas, and for my age and area of the country, I was a pretty good. By the time I was a senior, I was among the top 10 or so HS players in the state, depending on the day, so pushing forward with the idea that I wanted to do something in music was completely viable. Unfortunately I put so many eggs in that basket that I neglected my accademics in HS, and while I graduated ok, it would have made it difficult to get the kind of scholarships that I would have needed for college, so I found myself in the US Army Band program, which I did for 10 years, which takes me back to my backup plan to be a HS Band teacher.
In the time I spent in the Army Band program, I met a wonderful girl, got married and had 2 children, and in the process of all of that never managed to find a way to get a degree in music, which typically has to be done as a full-time student here in the states due to how music-related classes are scheduled. Eventually I found myself going to tech school for computers so that I could leave the Army and get a job that paid well enough to support my family when I changed careers. To this day I'm not positive that leaving the band program was the right move, although at this point it would be moot - I'd be retired from the Army by now.
My 19 year old son and I were joking around about some things just last night and he joked in regard to why he's done certain (dumb, but fun) things, "YOLO" - You Only Live Once. I agreed, and in looking back, although I never became rich, famous, or known for my trumpeting prowess, my horn and music took me to a lot of cool places. I've played for Presidents and other world leaders, I've been a part of history on numerous occasions, I've met a number of notable people and celebrities, done a lot of great playing with a bunch of fine musicians, played in bands, recorded albums that I'm proud to have been a part of, made lifelong friends, and above all, met my wife and had two wonderful kids, all of whom I love dearly.
I never really had a fallback plan - I just kind of bumbled along, one foot in front of the other, taking advantage of the opportunities I could. I have no real regrets - I have a lifetime worth of wonderful memories and stories, all because of my trumpet and music. Most of it was before I turned 40, and I've got a long way to go yet.
My advice to you is to go for it - it's not going to turn out like you plan (it never does) but that's ok - do what you can, adjust when you have to, and follow your dreams to the best of your ability. Remember, you only get one shot on this rock - make the most of it. YOLO.
If you are serious you'll aim high - disappointment is short term stuff - life distracts us from the hurt if we're lucky - follow Rapier's advice, you never know.
When I was 16, I could play Major Kenneth J. Ricketts' (Kenneth J. Alford) Colonel Bogey and then the movie Bridge On The River Kwai had not yet been made. Since my 2006 comeback, I've played it again and recorded it with multiple brass instrumentation. Alas, I joined the USAF, but I've heard the Royal Marine Band live and with no qualms would say they are as good as USMC's.
My back up plan was become a Mining and Petroleum engineer, but that changed to Education with Majors in Earth Science & Mathematics and a "why not" by a friend already in band to try out where I was accepted as followed with courses that provided me a Minor in instrumental music. I taught 7th & 8th grades for 2 years finding out that the county police cadets earned twice what I did. I was a math Major and sent my resumes around. It wasn't local and not as high pay initially but accepted a position as a county Deputy Sheriff and later was offered a position as LEO with the US
Marry a chick that can get a job! Hang out in the Nursing Bldg Lobby in college (not the band hall)...
I was first chair in HS band, and 2nd chair in Jazz band. Not really thinking of being an adult, but dreaming of being able to play like MF or Bill Chase.
I ended up getting a degree in electrical engineering because I lacked the confidence to pursue being a professional musician, tho that is what I always wanted.
I've worked as an engineer for nearly 28 years (specifically working on airborne radar, and then moved to writing software for radiology).
In all that time I probably had 18 enjoyable years of work and the other 10 were not fun at all.
So, stick with your dreams. Job security and money are very poor replacements for working in a career you love.
Do whatever it takes to prepare yourself to succeed at the career that is calling you to be happy.
Never do a job for the money, because money cannot make you happy.
Greg (age 50).
If we see trumpet playing as a way of making a living we will be highly disappointed. If we make music our life, it will make us a living.