Lawrence Welk started it all for me. Yep, you heard that right. A popular tv show in the early 70’s captivated me with one particular instrument – the clarinet. I loved the woody tones and ability to morph within an orchestra or quartet, jazz or classical. What a cool instrument my 6 or 7-year-old self proclaimed!
So when 5th grade band came around there was no doubt in my mind, I wanted to play the clarinet.
In high school I switched to the bass clarinet for symphonic band as I loved the deeper tones. I participated in many competitions and even was first chair in the state for a couple years in a row.
One side note that occurred to me in high school…. the clarinet section in band… girls. All girls, except yours truly. Take that you trumpet players! 🙂
Things progressed and when I started my junior year of high school I suddenly got the urge to learn saxophone. My bad director, was also a saxophonist and gave private lessons, so I was set. I progressed quickly and auditioned for the jazz band and made it for my senior year. Also, there were some arrangements that called for a clarinet, so I had that covered.
In addition, I played in a couple of small bands made up of friends. First up, the Bad News Blues Band. We did a lot music from the Blues Brothers Soundtrack. We also played regularly for a summer at this old dive bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan called Froggy’s.
In addition, I was a touring saxophonist for the White Trash Band. Great fun and this one did a lot of backyard or garage parties.
Music major on scholarships. Wasn’t sure I wanted to teach and didn’t think I was good enough to play professionally…. so what now? Marketing and communications, here I come. But I ended up still completing a minor in music. I started learning more piano here as well as flute. Loved my music history and theory classes.
My musical endeavors took a pretty big hit after college. Things like a career, relationships, kids, moving, etc. didn’t leave much time on music. Listening was always there, just the playing lacked. I thought about it often but never made time to do it or to find other players to play with.
One birthday my wife got me a starter guitar. I plunked at it here and there but really didn’t get serious until covid hit. I had more time and finally this was the blip I needed to get back into music. Not a day went by without me learning and playing. Some time went by and I got myself an electric – Fender Telecaster. A whole new world there! I had also gotten a keyboard to get back into piano. Then another acoustic guitar and a banjo came into the arsenal.
The learning never stops but I’ve been writing lyrics, chord progressions and starting to put together songs.
Some of my working titles
- Sign ‘O the Times ’23
- Be My Daughter Again
- Bright Star
- Missing Moments
- Free Range (Chickens) / Clover, Leave Those Chickens Alone
- Tennessee Morning
Always learning, music is challenging, great fun and it provides a wonderful creative outlet.