Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mississippi Mud and Mississippi Mud 2 3 4

I began my musical journey playing percussion in high school band. I was best at the snare drum but loved playing the timpani and mallets too. Years ago I belonged to the Percussive Arts Society  and I  still have my membership card from 1975. (wow)   That year I participated in an event called, "The Uncontest" where I played a drum set solo for 3 different teachers.  My solo was titled, "Wipe In" (a play on the famous "Wipe Out" solo).   Our sessions were recorded--both my solo and the teachers' feedback. I will never forget my first performance of the piece, I botched the ending so badly that it made me roar with laughter every time I listened to it.

What also happened that day was I ended up winning an award for it. The thing was though, I did not go down to receive it -even though my name was called 3 times. Part of it was due to some hearing loss that went undetected and the other part was me saying, "Nooooo, it can't be. It must be some other O'Connell." So, imagine my surprise when I went to my drum lesson the following week and my teacher presented me with my award. Huh. I really did win something! I don't know what happened to that certificate but it was the last time I ever won anything like it.

Over the years, I have continued to play percussion in the form of hand and frame drums. Bodhran, djembe, doumbek, tambourine. Back in the early 2000's I played snare in a local pipes and drum band.

Today, I got out my drum sticks and practice pad (like a snare drum) and my rudiments (exercises for technique pictured above) to get me ready for tonight sitting in on a rehearsal with the Charlottesville Municipal Band.
It's been  many years since I've played band music but I am really excited to try it out again. If all goes well, I will be wearing black and playing in the summer schedule. I'll let you know how it goes.

By the way, "Mississippi Mud" is a phonetic way to remember how a 5 stroke snare drum roll goes. (the count of it). That was a trick I learned in band way back when!
what fun awaits!

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