The year was 1986 and we were told we had a choice. We could choose band or computers. I chose computers, so did Jason Beagle. We were the only two in all of grade 7 who did not choose band. We were forced to take it. I cried and cried...I DID NOT WANT BAND. But alas, Jason took a flute home and I took a clarinet. It was the beginning of a very fond relationship.
My clarinet was purchased used, I think I paid $150.00 for it. Someone before me had left their toothy imprint on the mouthpiece and I was embarrassed. I thought people would assume it was me because of my bugs bunny genes. 3 years until Junior High was over and wouldn't you know it...I actually CHOSE band in highschool.
Mr. Sweet was everyone's favorite. With his shiney head and super humour, what a joy. He was so fun. He took us all on our first trip to NovaScotia. A mishmosh of children trying to be adults, from football players to drama students, we were all there. That was the best. I still remember that first year we played the theme to Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. WE WERE GOOD!!
December 7th 1990 we attended Handel's Messiah, and that night I met my first boyfriend. He sat with me in the bus on the way home and although some smart kid threw gum to the back and it landed on my hair, and the fact that the spaghetti straps on my dress broke that night...I gave my phone number away and was on my way to falling in love. I still remember telling Jocelyn that I really liked her hair. Boy the things you remember on the most important days.
My Clarinet helped us to attend Nationals in BC and Internationals in Hawaii. Again Mr. Sweet packed up all us young people and took us across border so we could win, which we didn't. But it was the best trip we ever had. Say hello to a couple of Marines and bond with a new group of friends. At this time, I was no longer with my boyfriend and my new friends introduced me to happiness once again. I appreciate them even now for that.
June 1993 school ended and I put my Clarinet down for many years only taking it out to remember and play a small ditty here and there. Not until 2008 did I start playing in a band again. I auditioned for the Edmonton Cosmopolitan Music Society and was taken on at an intermediate level. I loved it, I was once again in the spotlight and was playing at the fantastic Winspear Centre this time. It's too bad the average age in the band is around 65. I would have stayed.
The season has ended and so too my relationship with my Clarinet. It was there for much happiness and much sorrow...but it's time to retire you my friend and let someone else build their memories with you .