The reeds can’t hold their tune very well.

-Stephanie Edwards (whoever she is) in response to a question from Bob Eubanks. He asked if certain instruments were more difficult to play in the rain. (It’s raining like crazy for the Rose Parade in Pasadena.)

It’s good to know that there’s an expert to answer tough questions like this, don’t you think? Better yet is that oboists don’t march. Ever. If you see an oboe in a marching band the band director is very, very stupid.

I’ve yet to figure out where the “pit band” idea came from; now marching bands use non-marching instruments in front of the marching band. I’ve heard they’ve used strings and I know they use oboes and bassoons. I once heard about a band that played out in the scorching sun and some of the string instruments were damaged. I’ve played outside, but I refuse to play in the sun; a covering is an absolute must. I’m always annoyed with the high school directors who don’t know any better!

Needless to say, I don’t consider marching band to be a musical experience. A marching experience, yes. A technical experience, sometimes. A social experience, nearly always! (Heck, in my bell lyre playing days I had a great time with my high school friends out in the field and, especially, in the stadium stands.) But you can’t make great music while prancing around out on a huge field or on a street. I’d better stop before I make too many (more?) enemies, eh?