High school band class was a particular comedy. Like much of high school, it was a microcosm of life, a sorting of who’s who and a picture of greater realities.
Choosing an instrument is a reflection of personality. In the first band class the cool kids would rush for the saxophones, the loud kids for the trumpets, the sh*t disturber for the drums and all the other sheep and goats settling for all else in between. Predictably, the fat kid usually made a bee line for the tuba. It was a way of standing out via sheer physical presence. If you ever saw a big kid carrying a big tuba home for practise, it is a funny sight. Instruments come with their own oddities. Shared mouth pieces was a thing back in the days when no one thought too hard about germs. Those brass mouth pieces were expensive and few people ponied up the cash to buy their own. The mouth pieces usually had a funny smell of rotten eggs even when you boiled them, and they made you think about someone else’s saliva. Spit is the thing people don’t talk about in band class. You had better not go barefoot because the floor in band class might be akin to that of a bar filled with sailors. Clearing spit from musical instruments was apropos to the process.
Arriving late, I got stuck with the most ignominious and obscure instrument of all - the French Horn. If you never noticed it, there is a reason. No one notices the French Horn, and no one cares about it. The French horn may have only a few supporting notes in a performance, sadly it will never stand out. You have to watch for your cue. The whole world is waiting for your one small blast and it had better be in tune. Those few notes are all the part you get to play.
Emptying the spit from a French horn is not at all fun. The French horn has no blow hole from which to eject spit, you have to turn it around and around so that the gurly spit of the multitudes travels down the spiral. Finally out the spout it goes, a disgusting effluent that makes one wonder why anyone would join band class and why anyone would choose the French horn.
The answer is obvious. We all want to be part of the band, we just don’t want to get stuck with the French Horn. But inevitably some do. It’s the luck of the draw - the default when you missed out on the other choices. Never mind, you are part of the band just the same.
Saint Paul had some things to say about the Church and its components. Let’s just say it’s band class all over again. Cool kids rushing for the saxophones and loud kids for the trumpets. Odd loner stuck with the tuba and nerdy kids on the flute. Everyone wants to stand out in an important way and yet in reality few do. The strength of course is in the whole.
“...the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts. Suppose the foot says, “I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. And suppose the ear says, “I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body... If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy. You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.”
1 Corinthians 12:14–27
You might even get stuck with the French Horn, the one no one ever heard about and the one no one notices. You may only get a few notes in the show. Still the question remains. Do you want to be part of the band? Sign here. Choice of instruments TBD.
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