I am so proud of my husby, Christopher. As a member of the Oregon Army National Guard, he plays in the 234th Army Band throughout the year. But for two weeks every summer, he leaves with the army band on tour, playing free concerts for the public all over Oregon. He has been away for about ten days, but I was able to drive down to Salem to see the concert band (a.k.a. The Empire Builders) perform at the Historic Grand Theatre. Chris said that this was the best concert the army band has put on since he has been in the National Guard, so I wanted to make sure that I got to see it! Chris’ principle instrument is the oboe, but he’s just as good on saxophone, and he often plays percussion or other instruments (but he can play nearly any band instrument you throw at him).
The theme was “Heroes and Villains”, and they performed lots of popular songs, including pieces from Superman, Frozen, Les Miserables, and Godzilla (which featured a story-line slide show that played as the band told the story of how Godzilla attacked Las Vegas, which was ultimately saved by multiple Elvi armed with various types of weaponry).
That was all great, but I was mostly excited about the show because this year, Chris has moved into a conducting position and I wanted to see him do what he does best! He loves conducting, and I think it has been really exciting for him to move into another position and take on new challenges.
My favorite piece of the show was The Padstow Lifeboat March…I’m a big fan of marches in general. This piece was unique to me, though, because I could really visualize the waves getting bigger and the wind picking up…the song really told a story, to me! And, it was entertaining as well – every time the fog-horn sounded, Chris emphasized the horns by doing something exaggerated (like in the picture above). The audience laughed a lot! Want to hear The Padstow Lifeboat March by Sir Malcolm Arnold? Click HERE and hit “Play Song”!
Well, you probably want to hear about this FIGHT that almost went down, huh? I was sitting in the balcony with a couple of friends, and I had my camera so that I could take some pictures of Chris as he conducted. About the third song in, I get this insistent tap on my shoulder and I turn around, and there’s this old lady who rudely commanded to me “DON’T DO THAT”. What??? It’s a free concert! There was absolutely no ban on photography! Further, my husband, who had been gone from his family for 10 days, did so in order to play free concerts for the public, for her!!! I gave her a death stare, and took a couple more pictures. I didn’t know exactly what was bothering her (I wasn’t using a flash), but I thought maybe it was the screen on my camera…but there were other people around me taking pictures with their iPhones, which also had screens. I tried taking some pictures without the screen on, just using the view-finder, but that didn’t work well, so I got up and took more pictures from the side of the balcony. The whole rest of the show I was stewing, thinking about all the things I was going to say to that lady if she pestered me again! Seriously, I really try to be kind and considerate to people, but it seems like there is always someone yelling at me and telling me what I can and can’t do. No wonder I don’t like being around crowds of strangers! Sheesh…well, she got up and left immediately after the show ended and didn’t say anything else to me. But I tell you what…things were about to get REAL in up in that balcony! If my roller derby experience has taught me anything, it’s taught me how to hit a bitch, so look out, and don’t tell ME not to take pictures!
I mean, seriously, if I didn’t take pictures, this post would be much less entertaining, right? 😉