I come from a family that loves to create music. My mother was a gifted pianist. Dad absolutely loves to sing, is the voice over everyone in the church congregation during the worship time. Mark, my brother, has a degree in piano performance. My daughter plays many instruments as a music teacher.

I toot my horn.

When I was ten years old, I jumped at the chance to learn an instrument and play in the fifth grade ‘Foo Foo’ band. Shamed by the band director, my parents purchased that shiny Conn Connstellation you see in my hands. Fifty years later, it’s still a beautiful instrument, the nickel finish still bright. There are scratches, for sure, but the horn plays well. Off and on over the years, I have picked my horn up and played, mostly for church events and services. Playing is still fun for me.

After a few years lay off, I am tooting again. Next month, I am leading a brass ensemble playing Christmas carols for a dinner at the church I attend. Organizing the ensemble has not been fun. As a matter of fact, it has been a challenge coaxing people to pick up their instrument again and play. It takes some confidence to play in public when it’s been a while. Never one to be shy, confidence isn’t a problem for me. Of course, experience has taught me that playing the horn, even if only in marginal shape to play, is something that people appreciate hearing. Christmas music is easy, I have told most of the people I have asked to play. It is easy, a perfect chance to begin playing again.

It’s also been a challenge getting the staff at church to support my efforts. I have been a member of the church for almost a year, not much time, and I still don’t know that many people. When I volunteered to organize the brass ensemble, I asked a staff person if a request for volunteer musicians could be included in the weekly church email blast, maybe in the Sunday morning announcements. The staff person refused, gave me two names of people who might play an instrument, encouraged me to find musicians on my own. His reaction was discouraging, made my task quite bit more difficult than it should have been. I asked around, have found several people willing to consider playing, but not really many willing to commit. However, my daughter knows someone in the area who teaches french horn at a local music store. That person will play in the ensemble and will provide the other musicians needed to fill out the ensemble. I will have to pay them. I guess that will be my tithe for the month! I did talk to the young man who is the worship pastor at the church. He volunteered to purchase the music, but it took him nearly a week to respond to my email, and he responded only after I followed up twice. Church stuff isn’t always easy.

I am happy to be tooting again.

(oops, I am definitely getting old…just realized I wrote about this a month ago!!!!)

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