In the midst of stumbling over boxes and trying to find places to put things, my husband, Derrill, joined the local orchestra. He’s a former trombone player, trying to get muscles—both embouchure and slide-operating ones—to remember long-forgotten tensions, and he practices innumerable hours out in his shop.
Kanab has a population of about 4000. It’s not like the small communities in the Pacific Northwest, where they have large populations on 5- and 10-acre plots in surrounding unincorporated areas. Kanab’s surrounding territory is beautifully, ruggedly, colorfully empty. So, 4000 is about what you can count on. That a population of that size would have sustained an orchestra since 1984 is due to the tenacity, drive, and love of music of local pharmacist Kortney Stirland. The Symphony of the Canyons performs several times a year, one of the performances being at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Another is at Peach Days, a local celebration in Hurricane, UT, a small town about an hour away from Kanab. That performance was yesterday. Derrill was sweating it, but felt better when they said there would be another trombonist playing with the orchestra in Hurricane.
I have to digress now and tell you about the Dallas Brass. I meant to blog about the concert we went to last fall where we heard this marvelous group. Their performance model is to go to school districts, give master classes to their middle- and high-school musicians, and have a performance where they play with the students. It’s a win-win-win situation, for the kids, for the Dallas Brass and for the audience.
As I said, the Dallas Brass came to Skagit County and performed, and two of our grandchildren, Vaughn and Kjaisa, got to play with them. The house was packed, and you could tell it was a musical high for the kids. It was for the audience, too.
So, fast forward to Peach Days. Derrill prays for a rain-out situation all the way to Hurricane, but though there are rain clouds in the sky, they’re to the west. He has to perform.
The other trombone shows up, and who is it? Only D. J. Barraclough of the Dallas Brass. Derrill says if he had known who the other trombone was going to be, he wouldn’t have had the courage to come. As it was, he enjoyed playing second trombone with the master.
I think the smiles in the picture say it all.