I just got home from practice, and I’m unwinding with some bourbon and Pringles. Those two things don’t really go that well together, but I wanted salt, and I wanted a drink. So here we are.
Last night, I wrote about the concert band. I talked a little about my history, and how I feel about it now. Tonight, I’ll do the same with the swing band. Though I’ve had enough to drink that I probably won’t be quite as eloquent.
I’ve been asked a couple of times what “RC” stands for in RC Swing. Honestly? It doesn’t stand for anything. I think the strategy was to imply that it stands for Rancho Cordova, but it’s never been decided. It could be “Royal Crown” or “Remote Control.” Maybe “Really Clever.”
I think it was October, 2014 when I was invited to sit in with RC Swing. I was hesitant to commit, because November was coming, and I wanted to have another successful NaNoWriMo. I said I could come for a little while, and now it’s 2017, and I’m still playing with the band.
The music we play in RC Swing is more fun than the music we play in the concert band. There’s no denying that. I always enjoyed Jazz Band more than Concert Band in school, and it’s still true today. There’s more freedom of expression in the swing band.
When I first started with RC Swing, I didn’t have any real expectations. I thought it was temporary, and I figured I was just another player in the band. I was playing first alto, but that didn’t mean anything to me. I enjoyed the music, and I was willing to do whatever needed doing.
I discovered that lead alto in a swing band usually has more responsibilities than I was used to. I didn’t mind. There were things for me to get used to, and I was being challenged in ways I hadn’t been challenged before, but that’s the kind of environment where I excel. It’s like something I alluded to last night. I like the pressure. I like being just a little bit scared, and forced out of my comfort zone. At least when it comes to performing.
For a period of time, I became more and more involved with RC Swing. I did announcing. I helped with a few set lists. I was invited to leadership meetings. I felt like I was one of the leaders. I don’t know how much of that was me insinuating myself. But I was definitely more involved.
Things have changed over time. Perhaps I butted heads with the manager of the band one too many times. These days, my role is much, much less. That, in turn, has had an impact on my feelings about the band.
I still love the music. I still do my best in performances. But I don’t feel as connected as I used to. When I first started, I really looked forward to the Tuesday practices. Most of the time these days, I go into them with apprehension, and I often feel downright terrible at the end of the night.
We’ve got a gig this Saturday, then nothing scheduled for a long while. I’ve told the band manager that I’m taking November off so that I can make sure I have a successful NaNoWriMo. If we don’t have anything else going on this month, I might just start my break after this Saturday’s gig. I obviously need a break from the band, at least for a little while. Sometimes you need distance to appreciate what you have, and I’m hoping that after a good long break from RC Swing, I’ll miss it and want to come back. Right now, I’m really looking forward to the taking the time off and focusing on writing.
This is starting to sound kind of negative, and I don’t mean it to. There are some very talented musicians in the group. I just need a break.
If you’re in the area this Saturday, you should come to: 6414 Brace Rd, Loomis, CA. We start playing at 7PM, and there’s a small fee at the door. But it’s going to be a great concert.