Band All-Region

Valerie - Robinson, Texas
Entered on May 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

This I believe

“Who is dropping out of band next year? Raise your hand,” Truman whispered during band. Almost a fourth of the band raised their hand. I felt alone, like it was going to be weird staying in band. I almost wanted to drop out myself. Thankfully I continued to stay in band playing my tenor trombone. I believe that learning to over come challenges, when they occur, in music is very rewarding. This has been the most rewarding experience for me. A year later in a band sectional Mr. W announced, “Your next chair test will be on your All-Region Etude #1 and all of your scales.” I’ll admit that I hardly ever practiced and also struggled with being “big headed”. I had too much pride and thought that I could easily beat our 1st chair player. Then I took the test. When I got the results I learned a huge lesson. Out of 9 Trombone players, I was 3rd to last. I was not happy or willing to play the basic parts at all. I’d rather challenge myself with the more complicated parts. Unfortunately, I was stuck. When, I thought I had just gotten over my mistake, the first 4 Trombone players were upgraded to Trigger Trombone. Therefore my internal battle continued, and intensified. I was being determined while admiring the new Trigger Trombones.

I wanted to prove to myself, and my classmates that just because I’m at the bottom of my section doesn’t mean that I can’t make All-Region. Thus my work began.

Considering that my dad made the top 3 chairs all 4 years of high school, played at Baylor University, obtained a Bachelor’s degree in music performance playing the Cello. I figured that it was somewhat in my blood to play well. My Mom told me that I should let my dad teach me. With his help and that of my low brass director and dad, I was able to play a whole lot better. The day before my tryouts, my dad worked me harder than ever (for hours) on the pieces.

I stepped into the room for the Trombones to tryout in. Thankfully the “Butterflies” in my stomach weren’t flying around as madly as expected. I played. I walked out thinking, “I played my best. If that doesn’t cut it, I don’t know what will.”

The Trombone’s results were among the last to be posted. I started to look for my name from the bottom of the list. I didn’t see it, held my breath, and began to look for it from the top. There it was, it read “Valerie Roberson-3rd Chair”. I have never been happier, and satisfied in my life! It turns out that I sat right next to our 1st chair player from school, who made 2nd chair, in All-Region.

Now I have the privilege of playing a brand new Trigger Trombone in my school band. No, I haven’t moved up any chairs yet. When the time comes for another chair test, I will know what to do. I’ll practice. I believe that overcoming this challenge in music has been very rewarding experience for me.