My First Star Spangled Banner (gulp)...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bilboinsa, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

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    Hmm... there was a little tear with the band and him...
     
  2. bilboinsa

    bilboinsa Piano User

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    All terrific thoughts. VB, I especially cling to your post about a synergy. Heck, this isn't a concert after all. I plan on playing the song AS WRITTEN--no grace notes, turns, not even gonna do the high C on "free" this time. I am going in BREATHING, humble, honored, and knowing that 2 minutes into the game, only my family and I will remember the moment.

    Thanks everyone for their thoughtful input.
     
  3. bilboinsa

    bilboinsa Piano User

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    Jan 24, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    Well, as Frodo said on the slopes of Mt. Doom, "It's done!"

    I played the song and I didn't screw it up--the world is still safe for democracy! There were two or three attacks that could have been better, and on the first note of "yet" (a fourth line D coming down from F-E-D; basically a simple descending F scale), I hit some sort of a short grace note into the D. My wife said it sounded intentional! It was a very weird place to get sloppy, because the song is just about over at that point. My wife videotaped it from the nosebleed section, but the Spurs are sending a nice DVD that they shoot of each performer. When I get it, I'll try and post it. She said the tone was beautiful, and that was one of my biggest concerns--I didn't want to sound bad, even if I hit all the notes.

    The whole experience was a little surreal. First, upon checking in, we were givien a guide. He showed us to my dressing room, complete with a silly star and my name on the door. Hey, it was a simple word processing document, but my wife had to get a picture of it. We got there a little over an hour before the game. There were several moments when I was running through the song in my head when I swore that I had absolutely zero idea of how the song went---one of those moments that Robert posted about above. I kept my cool, though, and just kept going over and over and over the song with fingerings. I drank a lot of water--they had a great bathroom in the dressing room--even had a shower! I could play as much or as little as I wanted. I probably played the song 3 or 4 times in the dressing room.

    When sound check came, they had me play the whole song backstage, and I played it perfectly--and at just over a minute (1:30 NBA max allowed) so I was really feeling good about thing knowing that I was on in about ten minutes. Then I met Mark Cuban--has he lost weight! Then I saw Nowitski up close--MAN, is he huge--and scary looking! I mean, I have met David Robinson before, but this guy Dirk is giant-ish.

    Anyway, then come all of our Spurs Silver Dancers and they stand next to me, all clad in very suggestive and sparse attire. I actually turned away from them, because I knew I had to play the song in a few minutes, and I didn't want to waste the time talking it up with some 20 year-old hottie who definitely dressed to impress. I knew that I needed to squeeze in a few more mental runs through the song. Say what you want about my level of playing, but at that point I KNEW I was a semi-professional musician! :wink:

    I walked out onto the arena floor with my guide, got some nice "good lucks" from folks I don't know, went over last minute cues, then the lights went down, I walked out to my mike, and the spot came on. I exhaled deep and took a good deep breath and began. Now, what they didn't prepare me for was that AFTER I played the first couple of notes, the color guard leader started giving orders to the color guard--I think to lower the State flag or something. All I know was that when I heard him start talking, I assumed that I had jumped the gun and started before I should have. In a nanosecond, my brain responded, "No, that other guy is late....you keep playing!" So I did. I concentrated on turning the notes into a s-o-n-g. I got easy with it. It was a blast while I was doing it.

    The song was over in what seemed like ten seconds. I never heard people singing, all I heard was my bell. I never saw anything, because I kept my eyes closed--part of my plan. Afterwards, a nice bunch of "great jobs" and I was up in the nosebleed section with my wife. Free tickets and parking, but hot dogs, nachos and drinks for a family of four cost $42! :eek:

    Lessons learned: 1. You can't practice a memorized song too much; 2. Learn how to accept compliments (I'm not used to them) 3. Avoid looking at the dancers; 4. Next time, I will put my horn somewhere after playing--maybe walk out to the car, or leave it with security, but an NBA game is a weird place to be walking around with a gig bag slung over your shoulder; 5. Get over the high price of bad food--the kids LOVE it at games!

    Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. In fact, I hope I will get called back--I was told that I was called in as a sub, and that the supervisor was very happy with the product. Time will tell.

    Thanks to all of you who gave me such good advice and just good vibes over the last few days. I know compared to what many of you guys do, this was no big deal. But to me, it really was. Thanks for all of your help. TM is a great thing.

    p.s. Spurs won...WITHOUT DUNCAN!!! 11-0 at home, baby!
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Cool, cool, cool! When we are playing something like that, we get hypersensitive--when you listen to the DVD in a few days, you'll probably notice that your "mistakes" are not even noticeable.

    Dirk is amazing! He can play all the positions, but he still doesn't shoot 100%--it sounds like you did, with all but a couple being "swishes."

    Getting compliments is kind of strange, a simple "thank you" is often the best and most humble way to accept praise.

    Well done!
     
  5. bilboinsa

    bilboinsa Piano User

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    Jan 24, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    YEAY!!!!

    Last night I received some nice compliments from the management. I am sure that they do this to everyone. But I seized on it and told them point blank that I would love to do this on a fairly regular basis. On this first time, I had been called in to fill in for a cancelation, so afterwards I told them that I would be a great "go-to" guy because of (1) my flexible work schedule, and more importantly (2) my great passion for playing. This afternoon, they asked me to play the National Anthem at either or both of two AHL Hockey games next week, and promised more Spurs games in the future. Maybe the Hanson brothers will play....

    I figure they asked me back because of either (1) my stellar playing, or (2) my stunning good looks, or (3) my Eddie Haskell-ish sales personality. OK, I'm sure it was number 3. But you know what? I don't care. Regardless of why, I may get to do this a bit more, and I will enjoy the ride. I am gonna try and put together a 5-piece trumpet ensemble for next week with some other folks I play with....if they like hockey....we'll see. I will stay humble and focused, and keep trying to give the management the best trumpet Anthems they have heard (recently).

    Again, many many thanks to you guys who do this so well so much and so often, and who are kind enough to share your talents with us neophytes! All you pros out there may not hear this enough, but Trent, Alex, Tom, Nate, Lee, Maarten, Jens, Bob O, Pops, Rusty, Michael (and the list goes blissfully on and on and on and on)...and ALL of you great players on TM are really a great inspiration to a simple CB guy like me. Thanks ever so much.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Uhhh, TH?
     
  7. derekkress

    derekkress Pianissimo User

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    Congratulations! Making music no matter what the gig is that's what it's all about and you got to share your special moment with your family too.
     
  8. bilboinsa

    bilboinsa Piano User

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    Jan 24, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    Man I hate that there are two boards---can't we all just get along??? :)
     
  9. bandman

    bandman Forte User

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    Advice: Always remember that every member of the audience wants you to do well when performing the national anthem.

    As for Jens: WOW!!!
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Doug,
    congrats! You got booked because of all of the above! You forgot to mention: on time and cooperative.

    Robin
     

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