Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Ants in the Band

The Ants in the Band

I pick up my flute to play, and get distracted by half a dozen ants crawling up my arm.  Are they heading into my flute?  Is that better than when they eat my computer?  There are a dozen of us sitting under the big breadfruit tree ready for another long practice.  Only, unlike band practices in the past, it doesn’t feel long.  Time flies by with all off the jokes and smiling people, and my mind wanders wondering about what might crawl on me next without my knowledge…

Being a band geek is taking up my life.  Practice is two villages away, and begins at 2:30 in the afternoon and ends between five and six at night.  Do I regret it?  Not at all!  I am having a blast! 

Seeing ways for improvement, I am acting on it as soon as possible.  I am finding new music (a good way to introduce American culture through music- go me accomplishing my Peace Corps goals!) to share with the group and they are enjoying my ambition.  I have also seen what is lacking in the band, and looking for ways to remedy these problems.  Since it is a brass band, I think they need help with their brass instruments.  I think they have never been oiled.  Keys stick at all times making it extremely difficult to play.  The bass drum is missing one of its skins and they are using a piece of fabric to replace it.  There is a lone saxophone, without reeds.  I have found people that are coming to Samoa, who I think are helping this situation, since I haven’t the slightest idea on if you can find any of those needed materials in Samoa.

Our band is having its first performance this Saturday at a village wedding.  Last week I thought of us as a beginner band, but with 2 ½ to 3 ½ hour practices each day, everyone is beginning to sound so much better.  We have five songs in our repertoire, and most of them sound decent.  I am really excited to see how this wedding turns out. 

The band has already started planning for my farewell party, a day in which we will play music all day and barbecue.  It sounds like it will be just what I need in December. 

(Pictures are of the band and my attempt to teach flute lessons)


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