By Alecia Lawyer
I never thought, as an oboist, I would be shopping at a gun store for fancy earplugs. Nor did I know that I would have to practice my “guns” for a concert. Yes, ROCO’s principal percussionist Matt McClung knows I am a wanna-be drummer, but this goes beyond even his job description.
I was oboist for Keith Brion’s New Sousa Band for a number of years. We would go on tour regularly and play to the most enthusiastic crowds of people taking great joy in Keith’s incredible portrayal of John Philip Sousa. When building ROCO, I found inspiration in Keith’s programming and in the fact that he flew in people from all over the U.S. to gather this band together. (He also has an infectious laugh!)
Now, back to the guns…starter pistols are surprisingly hard to shoot in rhythm, especially when one is a bit stiffer than the other. In U.S. Field Artillery March, there are seven shots at the end of the chorus. Keith had asked me to do it because he thought, with my red hair, I looked like Annie Get Your Gun. He did not know, however, that the first time I shot them in performance, I was going to aim at the audience……Not a good idea! And just so you know, those earplugs are definitely necessary!
Come see us November 9th at 5pm and find out if we decided to try the guns at St. John’s.