How old were you when you realized certain things about life were inherently unfair? I'm not talking about the childish sense of unfairness when we don't get our own way and we pout or rage about it. I'm talking about knowing that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you work, you are going to get shafted.
Diana is there. She loves playing her trumpet. She has worked hard to develop as a musician. She derives great joy from being able to play well. In the band, she wants her fellow band members to give it their all like she does. She dispalys leadership qualities and skill. She has been the second chair trumpet player for the last 3 years. She has been very close to overtaking first chair, which is held by a good friend of hers. They have a good natured rivalry in which they spur one another on to growth. They support and encourage each other. Diana has not yet succeeded in winning first chair during the formal challenges. She had, however been rewarded for her hard work with two solos to prepare for the spring concert. She was elated with that consolation and determined to show she had the chops to be first chair.
Chair tests were held last week. The students have to demonstrate muscial proficiency in several areas. They must understand music theory, demonstrate a mastery of basic skills for each level, and perform certain pieces of music for judging. Diana is once again, second chair. This was a disappointment for her after her hard work but the bitter part was having her solos taken away from her. Apparently the band director keeps a policy that first chair gets all the solos. However, it has been observed that he breaks with policy when it suits him.
I picked up Diana and the girl who plays first chair trumpet and listened to them in the back seat. The other girl already has 4 solos. She said Diana plays the other two solos she just lost much better. She is the object of the band director's favoritism and is aware of it. Both girls agree the entire band is aware of it.
After we had dropped off the other girl Diana climbed in the front seat and told me how frustrated she is. This guy will be her band director for the next 3 years. She feels stymied. This guy gives private lessons but only be invite. You don't ask him, he asks you. To be honest the first time I ever met this guy I thought he was one of the most arrogant men I'd ever seen. I think he handles his students in a negative, demeaning manner and I don't like it. It does nothing to instill a love of music. A very notable drop in band participation is apparent every year when he gets the freshman class. They sound great, but the only ones who stick it out are the ones with egos strong enough to cope with his belittling. I kept those opinions to myself for the last year but now I was hearing Diana outline the same thoughts. She's going to have a long 3 years under his yoke. I just hope she can cling to her love of music and not let his attitude grind her down.
Oh yeah, and I told her to remember that HER private teacher for trumpet is the band director of this arrogant guy she is under. So there! TTHHHHP!