Face the Music

I went to two performances recently that I loved. Both were terrible.

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First, we stood outside on a chilly evening to see the marching bands in town for the Vermont All-State Music Festival. We’re a small, rural state, and there’s a wide gulf between the can-it-be-real Asian drum corps videos you find on YouTube and these young stalwarts. But they shuffled and puffed and stomped through town in whatever uniform elements they had and they played their one or two songs. I bet (hope) many of the kids who complained the loudest to their teachers and parents made great memories that time they traveled to Brattleboro and played all weekend with all those other kids…

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The next day, I went to the end-of-semester recital at the Vermont Jazz Center. Six ensembles, each did three tunes, ranging  from kids who could mostly but not quite play the tunes to a couple of community adult groups who were really good. The Soubrette Jazz Choir was a highlight, although I can’t find any video to link to.

As I said, a lot of what I heard was terrible… and yet. They were up there, learning, working together, trying, and reminding cynical, Trump-freaked me why it just might be OK, at least for a while longer.

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