Monday, November 15, 2010

A band geek's dream

Living in the Netherlands must be a band geek's dream. Last night we went to a local band concert in Heer. Jaap used to play in the band before he moved to NY and many of his friends still play in it. I'm amazed at how much community support local bands have in the Netherlands, particularly Maastricht. In a city of about 250,000 people there are somewhere between 20 and 30 community wind bands. Can you believe that? We used to live in a city of 8 million people that had less than 5 community wind bands! Haha. It's incredible. Not only are there a lot of bands in Maastricht, but many of them are really good too.

There's so much community support and tradition with Dutch bands. How refreshing! The band we saw tonight, Koninklijke Harmonie van Heer, is about to celebrate their 160th anniversary. And...Jaap's band in Oirschot is even older. I love it! The band that Jaap and I used to play with is only 3 years old. A slight different tradition, but still lots of fun. I miss that group. 

For now Jaap and I are playing with the community orchestra at the university. It's a good experience for me because I've mostly played with wind bands. I have to play the piccolo (sad face), but's good for me. Eventually our goal is to join a wind band or harmonie in Maastricht. 

I suppose that band geeks are a special breed. We're all over the globe. That's comforting. It's nice to know that people from different cultures, languages, and ethnicities still celebrate and appreciate the same music I do. One thing we have in common is our love of beer and socializing. Ahhh... musical traditions. I am grateful I never had to wear a uniform though. :)

Clip of German march from last night's performance.

Here's a pic of our old band in Brooklyn.

Grand Street Community Band, 2010: Photo taken by Kenji Mori/

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