Jen’s Journey

Posted on July 6th, by Jen Bentley in General. Comments Off on Jen’s Journey

For this year’s annual concert, the Werribee Concert Band Presents: Storytellers – this is my story.

[cue Law & Order “Dum Dum!” sound effect]

Pulling up to rehearsal, the drizzling rain is adding to the coldness I know is there to greet me outside the car. As I sit waiting for the last vestiges of heat to dissipate into the darkness that awaits, I do often question: why do we do this? Why do we put ourselves through these horrible, miserable nights that would be better spent curled up on the couch under a blanket with a hot chocolate?

Braving the cold with flute in hand, I open the car door and hear the somewhat faint sounds of my fellow band members in the hall. There’s warmth and civilisation in there! Entering the hall, I’m greeted with a swell of music that washes over me and the cold is (almost) forgotten. This is why I get out of my car. 

Sitting down instrument in hand, I await our conductor’s instructions and hope and pray that the practice I have been doing will pay off. Hoping that tricky section, those notes, all the accents that have been bugging me and seemed as elusive as ‘Ahab’s white whale’ will just play themselves. I take a breath and play. Immediately the sound surrounds, enveloping me within its embrace. Sadness, hope, longing, joy, all echo through the notes.  

Is it easy? No. It is hard. it is frustrating. It sometimes drives me to the point I want to just pack my instrument up never wanting it to see the light of day again, a look of betrayal on my face as I glare at it for behaving like a stubborn little brat! 

So why do we do this? We do it for the times when that one passage just works, with the rhythm bouncing along like a balloon in the wind, and those notes that tied your fingers in knots instead cascade out in undulating tones. We do it for the pride in knowing that all those hours we sat at home (maybe some of us in tears) was worth it – nailing that section, hitting that entrance, counting that ridiculous time signature! 

We do it for the audience – to share our stories and help you remember your own. To take you back to the time you first saw the ‘Horse of Many Colours’ and watched Scarecrow slip and slide down the yellow brick road on the way to the “merry old land of Oz”. To take you to far off lands and take part in the dance of the Israelis where you can see the colours, the clothes the smiles and feel the energy. To what it was like taking those first steps on a new adventure into the unknown.  We do it to move you. 

If we can transport you, then we have achieved everything that music is made to do – make you feel, make you forget where you are. This is why we do it and this makes all the practice, cold nights and frustrations worth it!

Come and be transported by our stories.

for any committee members reading this….*cough*summer annual concert *cough*

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