Making a spectacle of yourself - 3

My turn next - in the Pessac Music School Ensemble de Cuivres. We are joining up with the music school at Bruges to put on a brass concert next Tuesday evening. The first rehearsal was last week and I was relieved not to be the oldest guy there ( though it is possible that the other geriatrics were teachers, I suppose ). We were three trombonists - me and my mate Thomas and a lad from Bruges. For the concert we will be joined by my current teacher, Ronaud, and my ex-teacher, Slobodan, who began the year at Pessac and is ending it at Bruges. There were about 45 trumpets and 7 horns. But we were still the loudest.

Renaud is a Toulousien and now and again he gives me some piece of music terminology then starts chuckling at his own accent. He recently said "Si tu fais un peng fais un bon peng" ( if you do a bum note make it a good one - advice generally not needed by ex-brass-banders ! All our bum notes are corkers! ) He continued, "You know un peng ? a bum note ?"

"Peng", I said, carefully. He laughed. "It's my accent", he said. It's really either pin or pain and rhymes with vin and pain.

Slobodan is from Sarajevo. When the Balkan war broke out he was 18 and in Holland for a jazz weekend. He never went home. He stayed with just his trombone and the clothes he was wearing and has not seen his family since. He fears to go back to Sarajevo. Lessons with Slobodan were a ball. One time he was trying to get me to actually put some air through the trombone and he said think of Pavarotti ( who had just died ) "Légèreté à lui!" said Slobodan ( lightness to him ). He's orthodox and was intrigued to meet a protestant pastor.

One evening, if possible, we'll get Renaud and Slobodan round for a meal.

Anyway we'll be playing :

Chariots of fire (trombones begin with 7 bars of repeated quavers on a d-flat in 5th position !)
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen ( yes, in Chariots of fire ! ) which we do as a brisk march
Jeepers creepers
A trombone quartet - Renaud, me Thomas and Slobodan.

I was intrigued that no attempt was made to tune everyone. But when we started playing I understood !


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