A chip in our armour… – Bob Lauver

Due to a freak accident, our horn section is getting a chance to display its depth this week.

Don’t panic, there isn’t any long-term damage, but our Assistant Principal Horn, Zach Smith,
did himself an injury about a week ago.  He played on his lip for a few
days thinking that the affected area would begin to heal and improve as
he played, but on Saturday morning he realized that his lip was going
to need some time apart from the rigors of horn playing to get the
healing process started.  Since I was sitting next to him in the
rehearsals, I moved over to principal on the Debussy and Joe Rounds
read the 2nd part.  Then Bill played Dvorak 7 without an assistant.  By
the end of the concert we all got the chance to feel Zach’s absence in
a very real way.  The concert went great, but we had the feeling that
we had just lugged a heavy weight up a steep hill.  It demonstrated to
us uninjured section mates just how interdependent we all are.  It also
showed us again (something we already knew) that Zach is our secret
weapon.  We did just fine Saturday, but we’re a better section when
everybody’s in the line-up.

As I have said before, our horn section is eager to play all the
time and nobody shows it more than Zach.  This simple reality makes it
all the more frustrating for him when the cause of his injury is taken
into account.  I think that first I’ll make up some glamourous story of
how he did it…….let’s see…he was working out…..first lifting
weights, then on to jumping rope……getting warmed up for a sparring
session in which he took a shot in the chops from a world-class boxing
trainer….yeah, that’s it.  Now for the truth…….he skinned his lip
on a tortilla chip!  Just when you start believing that the world is
becoming a safer place (cynically sarcastic observation), the next
threat jumps out of the bag and bites you in the lip.  In this case it
jumped out of a box.  When Zach told Bill what had happened the first
thing out of Bill’s mouth was, "What brand?"……"Abuelito, from
Costco" Zach answers, "oooo those are rough chips, but good."  Bill is
the Iron Chef nacho king……he knows tortilla chips.

This week in order to give Zach the time he needs to get better,
we’re all shifting around to try to spread out the work load a little
in his absence.  We’re playing Finlandia, the Sibelius Violin Concerto,
and Beethoven 3.  We’ve hired Alex George (a student of Bill’s) to help
us out.  This is how the section will be lined up this week:

Finlandia:  Ron, Joe, me, Alex (Joe and Alex might flip-flop to save Joe for lead on the concerto)

Violin Cto:  Joe, Alex, Ron, me (normally we’d put an extra on the
end of the section, but the Violin Concerto has a juicy 4th horn part,
so I’m hogging it).

Beethoven: Bill (Joe asst), me, Ron

Get better Zach……we’re missing you.

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