Royal Fireworks Music

Did you know that the US National Anthem is the only anthem in the world to end with a question? How about the Star spangle Banner’s official key (A-flat)?  I always find it funny that Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture is always played during the actual fireworks display. He wrote it a nationalistic piece in Russia commemorating Napoleon getting his ass kicked out of Russia. Actually, if you listen to the entire work, Tchaikovsky weaves in both the Marseilaise (France’s National Anthem) and “God Save the Tsar” together. The famous part that everybody recognizes at the end is Napoleon leaving Russia as the Russians are doing a mock ‘can-can’ kick dance contorting the Marseilaise. It is really a magnificent work, but most Americans miss the subtly.

Well the gig was fun, and very memorable.  I carpooled with Katie, Alex, Claudia (Alex’s sis), and Laura. Needless to say a full car. We got POURED on for a considerable bit of the drive to College Station, but got there safe and early enough to get a motel. Their sign said $49.99, but when we got the room they tried to charge $89.99, we hounded for a bit, and the clerk relented and gave us a room for $68. I was talking with Katie later, and she said once she had interviewed for a Motel job, and the boss said you can charge whatever rate you can get away with, keeping the extra for yourself! WTF? Buyer beware I guess…

We got to the high school for the first rehearsal, and the AC was turned off for the summer! Ugh…hot and sticky musicians are not a pleasant breed. The conductor was witty, professional, and talented. Overall a nice group, though truthfully the Corpus Christi Symphony was leagues above this one in quality.  We got out of rehearsal at 10, and went out looking for food in College Station. Everything closes at 10pm there, and we were relegated to IHOP. It took 2 hours for us to get our food, pay, and leave. It was annoyingly fun 😉

We had a short rehearsal before the concert, and then had about 3 hours to kill. Being the only guy, I got vetoed and we went to an earing/purse/accessory superstore of sorts for an hour and a half. I survived…Then we headed to Starbucks and chilled out to some Macchiatos and smooth music. We freaked the baristas outs as one by one we changed into black and white…I always love doing that! As I put my stuff back in the car to go to the concert I put my umbrella (which I had been bragging about being well prepared) on the top of the car, only to realize I had done so when we heard a *thump*  and looked in the mirror just in time to see the car behind us flatten it! That’ll show me I guess…

We got to the gig, the George H. Bush Presidential Library (joy), and got all setup. We actually played 3 songs before the rain hit, so I guess I will still get paid 😉 Overall I had a good time, especially considering this was most certainly my last gig in Texas. Good friends, good stories, and good times. I’ll miss Texas…sort of…



2 responses to “Royal Fireworks Music

  1. Hi Frank,

    As I can, I try to check in to your blog, to which I was introduced through Nate’s blog. I enjoy your thoughts and writings and being updated on your current activities. I was motivated to comment because of your recent thesis experiences. Academia is not an easy place to hang out! I hope that this draft is the final one. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed.

    The Genesee River Valley is still in one piece, for now. We’re at the lake for the weekend, and are still happily reliving wedding memories – I’m so glad that so many Johnsons and Ellises and Warings could be here for that. I’m sitting right now at the very dining room table where all the delicious and beautiful mints were made.

    Happy post-4th!

    Margie Searl

  2. Because if you’re gonna play in Texas…

    Sweet deal, man. Definitely keep up the music side of things as you enter the grad student life of your discontent. Balanced, multi-facetedness = good; grad students who talk about only one thing all the time (cough, cough, med and vet students, cough) = bad. Keep on rockin’, er, classic-ing.

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