HS band woes - argh

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Posted by Dan Mordhorst on April 09, 2002 at 18:52:08:

Hey all,

I just wanna say that I thank you all for reading this. So here it goes, I play Bass Trombone in my school Jazz Ensemble. I hold the trombone the correct way. The way that I was taught by the former principle trombonist with the La Scala Orchestra, and he currently plays with the Metropolitan Orchestra and the NY Philharmonic. I studied semi-privately with him for over 4 years. And I indirectly studied with Moe Schneider (if any of you know him) through my brother. I hold the trombone at a slightly downward angle. This, according to my band director is incorrect. I should have the music stand at it's lowest position and my slide should be played under the stand. So low that I am hunched over, and if I go out to 7th position for the low CC the slide touches the ground. He says that we look more uniform. The rest of the trombone section plays this way normally, b/c frankly, they don't care. When I play like this I am unable to get a full breath, I have no high register (especially since I play a DW 0AL). He tells me that "all professionals play this way. That is the correct way to play. They manage."

So, monday at Jazz Band, I was playing my usual way, with the slide up, and he yells at me again. Saying stuff like, "why do I play incorrectly?" etc. He has been bugging me about this for nearly 3 years now. I have gone to see him privately, and have demomstarted that I cannot play like that, and he is content on his idea that I am playing wrong. ARGH So, anyway, at jazz, he stated again, so I said, "No, I cannot play like that, it is impossible" He says fine, I guess that you should leave. So I left, mid-rehearsal. At the end he tells the rest of the band to tell me, "if you ever get wise or talk back again you will be asked to leave permanently". Now, I don't that after 3 years of just Ok-ing him, and taking it that I was "getting wise".

Now I have the problem of what to do. BTW, I am done with that group, I quit. But he still is my band director, and I am afraid that he is going to kill my grades in that class just in spite. I probably lost any chance of getting the band award in my senior year next year. There goes any kind of letter of reccomendation. He holds grudges forever. I'm not even sure if I want to stay in band next year. I play in enough outside honor bands that I will still be heavily involved in music.

I'm just really annoyed, upset, confused, etc... I don't know what to do. He is the most stubborn man.

Thanks for the time,
Dan Mordhorst

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