Getting back to the story of my return to horn playing, my husband and I began our 2nd year of playing in our community band. I don't know what other bands are like since this is the only one I've played in. Our band is a no-audition band, so we have members who are music teachers, lawyers, dentists, nurses, etc. We play a variety of music from junior high level (Grade 3?) to difficult transcriptions to modern band music that is very challenging. there's something for everyone. We play two concerts during the school year, each with a theme. Our upcoming concert is Blue on Blue and we're playing the Blue Danube, the Air Force March, Blue Shades, Blues for a Killed Kat, and so on. Previous themes have included movie and dance music, and comedy in music. We also play several Christmas concerts are local churches in December, and an outdoor 4th of July concert. Sometimes we have other outdoor concerts in the summer as well.
Our second year in the band was our daughter's senior year in high school. Much to our dismay, her first youth orchestra concert conflicted with our band concert. The orchestra was playing Pictures at an Exhibition. However, we had already committed to playing the band concert, so we missed her concert. (We also experienced a nerve-racking attempt to help her drive to downtown Chicago via the phone to get to her concert. She did make it safely and on time.) When the second band concert conflicted with her final youth orchestra concert, we opted out of our band concert. The conductor was unhappy with us, but we both felt that we had made the right decision.
I also had more opportunities to perform chamber music with band members this second year. We did the Mozart Wind Quintet for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon several times. We also played the Strauss Serenade for 13 instruments and our brass quintet did the Dahl brass quintet on the spring chamber music concert. Both the Strauss and the Mozart are such wonderful pieces. Once again, I had to step up the practicing leading up to the chamber music recital both the learn the music and to build up enough endurance to make it through the program! My woodwind quintet also kept busy with a number of performances.
The best things for me about playing in the band are the chamber music and the nice people I have met. I realized though that when the chamber music recital was over that I was bored with just playing in the band. The world was not beating a path to my door, as apparently had happened to my horn player friend in Oregon. It was time to try something different.