“From the beginning,” the conductor whispered, while bringing his arms up in a stance which made him look like he was ready to fight a raging battle against ferocious warriors. I could feel my palms sweating as I touched the cold metal of my saxophone, bring it up to my mouth into ready position. I quickly glanced around me at the other ambitious players, each one of them barely sitting on the edge of the black band chairs, nearly bursting at the seams with excitement. I could taste the distinct flavor of my reed; the wood was smooth and damp, and I formed the embouchure which I had perfected over the past few years. Along with every other person in the tight, sweaty, boiling room, I drew in an enormous breath, and with the help of my instrument, sung out the very first note of many as a proud member of the High School Wind Ensemble.
I had practiced my wind ensemble audition music more than anything I had ever played. I aced my audition, and Mr. Allen, the conductor, said that he could tell by my ambition (and probably some of my nervousness) that I really wanted to be in wind ensemble. I had earned my seat in this prestigious group. I will admit, I was nervous at first, not knowing whether or not I would be able to keep up with the rigorous pace. However, I have been able to do my part for the ensemble with lots and lots of practicing.
We were rehearsing the program for the graduation ceremonies, wind ensemble plays at it every year. The same pieces were performed every year, so the upperclassmen already knew the music. I, however, being one of three new freshmen in the group, was unfamiliar with the programmed set list. This made my nerves go through the roof.
The High School Wind Ensemble is so brilliant at what they do. The first sound I created with them was so mellifluous. As we continued into the piece, I got lost in the sounds we were making. The air was thick with the different timbres of the instruments, it was...