Veni, Vedi, Vici*

Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it. ~Author Unknown

We did it!

Our symphonic band concert was earlier this week, and I’m still floating high on a puffy cloud of success.

When you put together a “motley” group of hopeful-musicians — high school students, college students who aren’t music majors, music majors playing secondary instruments, and community members playing instruments often not played for as long as some of these young’uns have been alive — you probably shouldn’t expect much.

But with hard work at rehearsals and encouraging, enthusiastic directors, we managed to pull it off.

We started all our concert pieces together. Kept mostly together throughout. And ended together.


Best of all, we enjoyed the experience, and I suspect many will be back for more next year.

As my flute teacher tells me, you can learn important things from playing in a group that you can’t learn from a one-on-one lesson. Like how to play in tune, how to blend with other sections, how not to overshadow the melody line, how to play in time to the conductor’s beat.

Things real musicians need to know.

You also learn how to deal with butterflies in the stomach before a performance and how to get along with others who might have had a rough day or little sleep and seem prone to taking out their grumpiness on the rest of their section.

Part of me is glad it’s over. I’m relieved the concert went well and glad to have my time back. But a BIG part of me is sad it’s come to an end. We had a special energy, this ragtag group of thirty-three, and I’m going to feel at loose ends without the commitment.

Gee, perhaps I need to join community band this summer and see how that goes?

*Note: “Veni, Vidi, Vici” is Latin and translated “I came; I saw; I conquered.” The words are attributed to Julius Caesar after a quick victory in a long-ago war. Every Latin student knows this phrase — my high school teacher quoted it often.

21 thoughts on “Veni, Vedi, Vici*

    • Definitely a good practice motivator, Virginia!! Thanks for reminding me (though I have to say, practicing my flute is way more fun than practicing the piano when I was a kid, ha!)

  1. Wow! It must have felt great to have it all come together after all your hard work and moving through the uncomfortable thoughts and feeling. I just saw this quote from Seth Godin and thought–Yep ain’t it the truth—“Maximum leverage is the result of commitment, of daily persistence, of gradual and insane and apparently useless effort over time.
    When it works, it merely looks like we had good timing.”
    You had beautiful timing! Congratulations. Summer band camp sounds fun 😀

    • Kb, my dad used to tell us it’s the true mark of a professional, doing something hard yet making it look easy. I imagine that’s true with most things. I was glad to put in the practice time for this, too, considering I’m way behind some of the others in performing experience!

  2. Perhaps you do need to join that community band! On the other hand, if you decide you want to devote your time to other things, you still know you can pick up group playing whenever you want, and fit right in. Congrats on such a fun, successful concert!

    • I think you’re right, Linda. I’m probably the only one silly enough to email our director and thank him for putting up with us, but I think he deserves a lot of the credit for our success. Sure, we put in the practice time, but he was right there with us, making modifications in the music designed to bring about a good performance. Community band is a month off, so I have plenty of time to decide. And it’s very casual, so if I need to take time off, I can. ‘Tis sounding better and better!

  3. *thunderous applause and cheers*

    Congratulations, Debbie, I am soooooooooooo happy for you and VERY proud! Doesn’t it feel FABULOUS to know that you did something you were scared to do, but did it anyway? Like you, I used to get very nervous before a performance, but after it was over, I used to thinking to myself, “Now wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.” That’s the most challenging thing about performing live, it’s both scary, but also invigorating!

    I love what your flute teacher said to you because it’s absolutely true. One of my favorite things about being a theater actor was working with other actors and playing off them. Theater is such a wonderful lesson in knowing how to come together with other actors; giving and taking from each other. It’s like being a family; working as an ensemble. It’s very much like playing a sport because you have to play as a TEAM.

    Again, CONGRATS to you, my friend!

    “Gee, perhaps I need to join community band this summer and see how that goes?”

    Yes! Yes! Yes!


    • Thank you, Ron, for understanding. You’re so right: working with others in a tight-knit group on stage is very much like a family. We all depend on one another, and we strive to do our best not to let the group down. “Team” is an excellent analogy!

      I’m leaning more and more toward participating in Community Band this summer. I know I’ll show up for the first practice at least and see what it’s like. I expect some of the folks in my previous group will sign up as well, making it feel more like old home week. If it’s too much for me, I can always withdraw — we’re volunteers, so they can’t fire me or dock my pay!!

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend, my friend. xo

  4. Congratulations! Sounds like a great time was had by all! Participating in a Community Band also sounds like it could be great fun – a fab way to meet up with like-minded people and give yourself motivation to practice, practice, practice!

  5. Wow!!! Good for you!! A friend of mine has played the cello in her city’s chamber orchestra for years and loves it! I’m in awe of you talented musicians and brave performers!

    • Aw, thanks! I love it — so much GOOD comes from being involved in music. Cello? Now that must take a lot of patience to learn and perfect — good for your friend!

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