Thursday, April 17, 2008

Marching on

French horn player, Band of the King's Division, York

In the city where I grew up - and where my parents still live - there used to be three different wind bands. My father ( conductor and euphonium ), brother ( bugel ) and I ( French horn )played in one of them. Every year on April 30th, a national holiday in Holland, we had to get up early to play the national anthem at one of three locations in the city. Once every three years I had a good excuse to remain in bed on that day: I had ( and still have ) a serious fear of heights, so I got exemption whenever the band members had to climb the tower of the Grote Kerk ( Grand Church ) in order to play the Wilhelmus right next to the church bells. While I generally liked to play at concerts I hated to play and march in the streets. When I attended the BCFC-Chelsea football match three months ago, a band played on the field during the break, I really enjoyed that. In Israel there is no wind band culture whatsoever, you hardly ever see and hear a marching band playing at a public event or a parade. That is a shame, marching bands add something to local and national festivities. I just heard about this event, and I am going to find out when and where it will take place. I am sure our two eldest children will love to see the Dutch, Israel, American and other bands perform.

PS: I just found out more about the concert, and contacted someone who might be able to get us tickets. Here are the details in English.

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