Friday, September 07, 2007


The Jackson Symphony Orchestra called to ask me to perform for their next concert an exTreme Classical Makeover with the Capital Quartet, a saxophone quartet "specializing in Innovative Orchestral Pops". I always jump at an opportunity to perform with the orchestra!

After I received my music folder, I thumbed through it to see what all I was going to be learning and performing. There's some great stuff in there! But, one piece stands out to me because of some personal history.

When I was a freshman at Highland High School, Scott Nelson, our band director at that time, challenged us to learn the 4th Movement of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5. It was a huge undertaking and I never practiced for something so hard in my life up until that time. (Listen to the 28 second intro)

TrumpetIt was such a team building experience because everyone in the band was challenged to learn an extremely difficult piece of music for our level of playing, but as we rehearsed and listened to ourselves, we truly were rising to the occasion. Being a freshman, I was also very motivated to learn the part and prove myself to the upperclassmen.

After weeks of practicing on our own, and rehearsing as a group, we were on our way to raising some eyebrows and blowing the audience away with our performance. It was something every band member was looking forward to and one of those sweet moments that one anticipates after so much hard work and effort went into it.

Well, a week before the performance, tragedy struck me. I had a bike accident.

I was out riding my bike which was not unusual for me at that time, when I noticed my mom, Gram and sisters coming up the road from running Saturday morning errands. She stopped and through the passenger side window we held a short conversation, and I don't even remember the topic. Anyway, as mom started to pull away, I had a "great" idea...I was going to race her home!

Over the HandlebarsYeah! Great idea! So I stood up on the bike to really put my weight into the foot that would pump the pedal of my bike. On the third pump, my foot suddenly slipped off the pedal when the chain on my bike popped off. My foot hit the ground with great force and the frame of my bike was halted in an instant. However, I was not! I kept moving forward with the bike falling with me. I went right over the handlebars and hit the rough gravel and tar pavement chin first and then proceeded to kiss the ground.

Mom thought she had hit me because I fell out of her line of vision, to the front right of the car. She just saw me go down. A neighbor who witnessed this accident told us she thought, "Oh my God, she hit her!". But, that was not the case, nope, it was all me and a bike that malfunctioned.

When I managed to untangle myself from the bike wreckage, I stood up, and hurried somewhat frantically to the backdoor of the car to get in, but both my sisters only saw the bloody pulp that was once my face and freaked. They both slid across to the other side of the car, backing away from me, frightened of the sight they beheld. Well, the door was locked! I couldn't get in! Someone finally unlocked the door and we headed home.

I spent that afternoon in the ER of Medina County Hospital. Thankfully I did not get any stitches, but instead was "taped" up. My chin was pretty cut up, but the worst was my upper lip. My lip was split right down the middle.

I remember not being able to smile or laugh because it was open up the cut in my lip. I used to hold the tape on my lip any time I would smile and that is just no way to live! The worst part was that I was injured and would not get to play Shostakovich 5! I was so brokenhearted.

It is really a drag to work so hard on something, have it within your grasp, and then watch it drift away in an instant. I went to the concert and supported my band mates while they put on an awesome performance without me. I've always felt like I missed out on something great by not performing with the band that day.

But, now, I get another chance! 27 years later on Saturday, September 22, 2007, I will perform Shostakovich with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra! Sweet! FINALLY!

No comments:

Post a Comment