During the IMG/Soundsport season the Blue Barons Mini Corps brass line get together every Tuesday night to practice. If I tell you that most of the line hadn't marched for about 30 years, you can imagine it was a bit of a shock to our system to do so again for the first time.
If I also tell you we couldn't (and still can't) comfortably read music, well nothing more than simple whole, half or quarter notes, you'll know how important it is to spend quality time with someone, who compared to the rest of us, is right up their with Mozart. That's where our old brass instructor and lead soprano comes in.
Now like most corps in the 80's learning music meant spending the off season in a local school room painfully going through the score bar by bar and if your 12/13 year old self could keep concentration for long enough, you would manage to put a few bars of music together by the end of the night, it was like that in the Barons anyway! Now It's important at this stage to mention 80's technology or the lack of it, (It's important later on) Let's just say it wasn't exactly cutting edge!
So you can imagine all these years later when a group of old friends got together again and thought about picking up some instruments, learning music was never going to be our strong point. Although lucky for us our old brass instructor was one of those old friends. We had one minor issue to overcome however, he now lives in Bahrain, not exactly within easy commuting distance of the South side of Glasgow!
Now times change and technology has improved so much. Smart phones? Super fast broadband? We rely on it every day and for us it makes a real difference. It makes performing together again today a reality. So no more face to face classroom tuition, we Skype call our favourite brass instructor every Tuesday in the Middle East. We learn the music (still bar by bar!), we manage to put a few bars together at the end of the night and we once again get to enjoy the activity that gave us so much in our teens. We get to see our brass instructor in person every time we perform, he makes the trip from Bahrain to wherever we have a competition, no Skype required, just like the 80's all over again!