Sunday, February 09, 2003

All-Carolina over

All rightey folks, I decided to put my version of this weekend here. First I’d like to mention something Kevin said on Friday. I can’t remember what it is, but he said something like “can I be on your site?” Of course, the first thing I said was “no.” So of course, I decided to put it here anyway. Just to see what happens.

Okay, so I’ll just try and run through the weekend chronologically. Even though at times, there seems to be very little logic to anything that happened…

Getting to UNC

So Friday we left for UNC. But there were so many of us, though most took the bus, six of us were left to cram in another car—namely, in Kevin’s van. He drove the van into the drop-off circle at Enloe. It wasn’t as scary as I had thought, but it was only a short distance. Kevin’s mom did the driving from Enloe to UNC. The people in the car were (in no particular order): Kevin, Pete, Laura, Robert, Will, and (of course) me.

I actually sort of forced myself on them because I wasn’t riding with them originally, but since nearly everyone I was close friends with was in there, I went with them anyway. I volunteered to cram in the back, because I was “the extra person,” more or less. The drive there was interesting.

We listened to various songs on the way, from Will’s iPod, of course. Most of the talking was actually singing along, so I was rather left out, as I don’t really know the words to “popular” songs. I was offered a cookie but declined, which was rather rude in hindsight, but I’d never really stopped to think about that before. Robert untied my shoe for me, but that’s because I was harassing him with my foot from the back seat.

Friday night

So we got there, of course, and then waited to get registered. It was 4 o’clock by the time we even got in line. Both Jacob Medlin and Becca Gurgainous (spelling?) were working at the registration table, so it was nice to meet other Enloe people again. I was instructed (after getting my audition time) to go warm up and just go up when I was ready. So it was actually around 4:30 before I went to the audition. Not that there was actually a point to auditioning, I was the only alto clarinetist there… I probably should have been in the lower band, but they couldn’t change that.

When I came back from my audition, Laura decided to ask me: “Oh, did you go?” And I, being my witty and sarcastic self, said something to the effect of: “No, I just walked around with my instrument and music for the heck of it. Of course I auditioned!” I can’t remember my exact words but that was the general effect. Since I had time left, I hung around in the band room and practiced Enloe music, as I had nothing better to do. After that, around 5, I packed up and headed to the rotunda with most of the other Enloe people. So finally at about 5:15 we were able to head out and get dinner (as you’ll see, it usually took us about 10 minutes to motivate people to go anywhere).

We ate dinner at Peppers Pizza, which was interesting. Not so much the meal, but two things: We got randomly visited by Laura and Pete, and we had to spend about 10 minutes trying to split the check amongst ourselves. We finally got that sorted out, paid, and went back to rehearsal.

Rehearsal ran until 10. We got to meet the conductor and run though our pieces. It was rough to begin with. We then proceeded to rehearse some of the music, and there was only about one anecdotal occurance that I can recall. Laura missed her entrance in RAYMOND Overture (as capitalized on the music) by one measure (because I played a B at the same time, and noticed the absence of noise from behind me). So the conductor stopped us and then it came up that she was staring at the light and not paying attention. So we got a spiel about that, and then she (reportedly) proceeded to draw a light bulb on her folder. I never actually saw it, so this is only what I’ve been told. It was quite funny, indeed.

So then we went to our hotel, got in our rooms, and got ready for bed. Emphasis on the getting ready half, as we stayed up watching Lethal Weapon 4 until about 1AM at which point we decided that we needed to get to sleep. And that was about how our night ended. Whew.

Saturday morning

We set the alarm for seven o’clock, and it went off at the right time. But it was, to say the least, extremely obnoxious and about 3 of us smacked it to try and shut it up. I think I was actually the one that got it to turn off. Conrad got a shower, while I packed up my sleeping bag, sleeping pad and camping pillow (hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). Did I mention I slept on the floor? (There were, after all, 5 of us in one room).

Anyways, I let everyone else use the restroom before I got in the shower. So then I got my shower and such (this includes shaving, etc…) and got dressed. But when I came out, everyone was gone! I was like “thanks for waiting for me.” I got down to breakfast when the four of them were done, so I had to eat seperately too. That sucked.

Once we all got our instruments and/or coats, we piled on to the bus and left for Hill Hall. The van people left later on, because of a few stragglers who will remain nameless. And now, on to the morning rehearsal…

Saturday morning rehearsal

There wan’t really anything unusual about this rehearsal, except for two things. For one, Will Bromby (henceforth called Bromby to avoid confusion with my friend Will) slept through just about the entire rehearsal. Not in the ensemble, but in the auditorium seats! Apparently he “wasn’t feeling well,” but I’ll leave the causes for you to surmise (as we have no idea what the true causes were).

The other unusual thing regarded me. The first (and I believe only thing) that the conductor said to me was something along the lines of: “Your instrument is obsolete. It’s nice to have an alto clarinet, but nobody scores for it anymore - even though it was used a lot in older compositions.” So that was very interesting. We rehearsed until 11:15 at which point we broke for the master classes and lunch. On to that part of the day!

Master classes and lunch

So after we broke from rehearsal, each section went to a room in Hill Hall (except flutes, I believe they went to another building) for their master class. I cannot comment on other master classes because, well, I wasn’t there! But there were several interesting aspects to ours.

The first person to play was Robert, and we got a lecture from Dr. Oehler about how you need to sound as if you have the music memorized (as if the stand weren’t in front of you). He had Robert play the same passage from his piece several times. The next person was someone I don’t know, who played a Mozart piece, and I cannot recall the title. We got a lesson on positioning the reed on the mouthpiece. Slightly interesting, but it quickly became boring. Finally, the first chair clarinet went, but I don’t think she should have been first chair. Yes I may be partial to Robert, but HER PIANISSIMO SOUNDED LIKE SOMEONE YELLING OUT LOUD. It wasn’t quite that bad, but she was obnoxiously loud at times.

We also found out why Bromby slept through the morning rehearsal: “I wasn’t feeling well.” Right. The causes are still subject to speculation.

We ended up at Miami Subs for lunch, which was rather uneventful. We had from 12:30–1:40ish to eat, so we finished eating and hung around for a while. At this point, Sara wasn’t doing too well, and there were doubts as to whether or not she’d be able to make it through the weekend. But we went back to Hill Hall and prepared for our third round of rehearsal.

Saturday afternoon rehearsal

There’s honestly not much to say here, as I cannot recall much from this particular rehearsal, though I’m sure something funny happend. Wickes was always telling funny stories and playing around with us. So we got through another 3-hour session of straight playing with nothing eventful that I can recall. I finally started getting better at some of my parts, but the outcome of that is still to be told.

At 5 o’clock we were released for the day, but asked to return and attend the UNC Wind Symphony’s concert at 8 PM. So we had 3 hours to kill…

Dinner and a concert

So nobody could agree on what to do for dinner. One group of people went back to Banditos to get their pictures taken, or something like that. I wasn’t with them, so I can’t tell. My group (which was just about the other half of the Enloe people) wound up at Ben & Jerry’s. No, it wasn’t exactly dinner, but it was somewhere to sit inside. I got some ice cream because I hate just taking advantage of a restaraunt’s seating without getting anything.

Then we got bored with that, and walked on over to Jersey Mike’s, partly because they had more seating than Ben and Jerry’s. Several people got subs or soup to eat, but I wasn’t hungry so I opted out. We sat there until about 7 o’clock. Sometime around 6 or so, Anna, Michael, Emily and someone else (I forget who…) showed up. I think Robert tipped them off, but it was nice seeing some other Enloe people for the night.

And around 7 we wandered over to Starbucks and most of us got a drink. I got a hot chocolate to hold me over for the night. We waited around there until about 7:20, at which point we all started meandering back towards Hill Hall.

We walked around campus for a bit before going back inside, and I saw some people walking down Franklin street. There were 4-5 of them, and I wondered if it might have been the second Enloe group. I made a comment about seeing people behind a tree, because I could no longer see them, and I thought they’d disappeared behind a tree we were passing. Alas, somebody took it the wrong way and people started talking about how it would be “awfully cold to be doing that sort of thing.”

Anyway, we got back to Hill Hall and hung around. We talked to several Enloe people who are now at UNC, such as Jacob Medlin, Andrew Roe and Neal Oatsvall. I may have spelled Neal’s name wrong, and I apologize if I did. The Wind Symphony was absolutely incredible. Wickes actually conducted them on the March from Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphisis, which we are attempting to play in Wind Ensemble. Now we have a standard to live up to :-/

And then we went back to the hotel after the concert, which probably is the longest part of the story to tell.

Saturday night hotel fun

Well this was the best part of the trip, in my opinion. We arrived sometime around 9:30 and, of course, had nothing to do. So my roommates and I headed to our room, along with everyone else in the band. We started getting ready for bed, insofar as some of us got showers and changed for the night. The usual, right?

Wrong! Not on band trips! We were watching TV by ourselves for quite a while until someone came rapping at the door. So I went to go see who it was. I looked through the hole in the door and proceeded to open it—Steven Peckous was standing there. So I let him come in, and he was bragging to Conrad about how he’d maxed out all of the exercise equipment down in that room. We had been in there Friday night, but we were just playing around—it wasn’t really anything serious, as far as I knew.

Thinking that nobody else could possibly want to knock on our door, I closed it again. But probably less than two minutes later someone else knocked on the door. I figured it was Steven again, so I went ahead and opened the door—except it wasn’t Steven! It was Laura, coming to wrestle Conrad. So of course I just kind of stood back and did nothing.

There were many wrestling match-ups. I’ll try to list the ones I remember seeing: Laura vs. Conrad, Conrad vs. Steven, Pete vs. Steven, and maybe Pete vs. Conrad. Not to forget the worst one: Laura vs. Jeremy. I think that was the only time Jeremy participated—I can’t remember. But she got hurt and it kind of ended there, if I recall correctly. On my last band trip we had a pillow fight in our room, and it had a negative outcome, but I won’t go in to that…

So I went out and got change so I could get a coke from the drink machine. I got my coke, came back to the room, and then got ready for bed (I was about the only one who hadn’t at this point in time). We were sitting there listening to music and/or watching some TV show about “deadly swarms.”

Alas, I was lying there in my sleeping bag waiting for the show to end and lights to get turned off, since “taps” was at midnight for us. Alas, the door was still ajar and Laura came in looking for cough drops, of all things. Apparently several people weren’t feeling well in other rooms, though Robert was the only one in our room (I think).

And then once our door was shut for the night, as mandated by chaperones and such, we continued having a discussion about the nature of people and stuff like “why would anyone do drugs” and stuff like that. That specific topic is tied to certain people, but they’ll remain nameless for obvious reasons. And that was about the end of our night, only for it all to begin again Sunday morning!

Post-mortem

It’s now been over three years since this took place, and it seems I forgot to talk about the occurrences of the morning rehearsal and concert. I can’t remember what exactly took place, but I will say that the concert was excellent. The recording reveals that, though it has some slight stereo separation and delay issues, which to this date I have not edited out.

And that’s all for this band clinic, which was one of the more joyful memories from high school. Ah, the good old days.

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