Sheet Music Horror Stories

As much as I would like to think I was always one of the most responsible kids in band, I’ve had a few horror stories when it comes to keeping track of my own sheet music.

My most memorable experience happened while touring with the McDonald’s All-American High School Jazz Band. We were performing in Atlantic City on the night of the famous heavyweight championship when Mike Tyson knocked out Michael Spinks in the first round. Parking in the city was a nightmare, so we had to get dropped off and the bus parked across town. Our tour director warned everyone, “Take everything with you. We won’t have access to the bus for a while.” I even remember warning my fellow bandmates, “Don’t forget your music folders!” Of course, I was the one who forgot. I had no choice but to confess to my director, who then asked the tour director to go back and get it. I was humiliated.

Experiences like these have affected my teaching. When students lose or forget their music, I am a little more compassionate than I might otherwise be. When my blood pressure spikes because a student can’t find their music, this story always come to mind, and I try not to take it so seriously.

How about you? Any memorable stories to share?


2 thoughts on “Sheet Music Horror Stories

  1. I have too many.

    I left my music at home in the bay area for an entire band tour to So Cal. I spent a good portion of the bus ride scribbling out parts from the scores.

    I left my trombone in the band room when the high school jazz band was supposed to be recording 30 minutes away. The whole band was waiting in the very expensive studio for me to get my horn.

    I almost left my trombone on an airplane.

    And that was just high school.

    I forgot my mouth piece (I play bass trombone) at a gig and I took my lead pipe out and used the tuba player’s extra mouth piece. That was not the ideal way to play Thcaikovsky 5. I better stop. I also usually have humility and understanding when one of my students forgets something.

  2. Pingback: Five Lessons I’ve Learned: #5: Murphy was Right, and so were the Boy Scouts « Music Ed Lounge

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