Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Back in the Saddle Again

A couple of my fellow longtime members of the Minnesota Freedom Band (the gay/lesbian band
in the Twin Cities) pointed out to me at rehearsal on Monday night that I'd been on leave
for years.

- No, just a year or so, I insisted.
- Nuh-uh, they said. You may have been marching, but you haven't played concerts in years.
- But my last concert was Beth's first as conductor.
- This is Beth's fourth year as conductor, they pointed out, exasperated and triumphant.


Well, they needed me for this concert, or so the percussion section leader convinced me.
And he was right, in the sense that most of the pieces we are playing have mallet parts
throughout, some of which will even require practice. My replacement on mallets, my protege
who surpassed me, is unable to play this season (though we are hoping all around she'll be
back in January).

The rehearsal whizzed by. Things are crisis-free in the band these days. The musical
directors are fun and personable.

So my Mondays are once again long and overburdened, I'm carting percussion equipment around
despite my vows that enough of that was enough, and I have one less free night a week and a
few extra commitments during the insane month of December (besides marching every night of
Thanksgiving weekend in the downtown Hollidazzle parade). But there I am in back of the band

I do like it there, after all. I like playing in the band, of course, and I have never lost
my sense of the extreme political and community importance of the gay and lesbian band
movement. It may not feel quite the same as it did twenty years ago, the nature of its
importance may have changed, but it's still an important thing.
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