Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I love my city.  And events like Honx!TX remind me just how cool this place is.  Where else can you take your family to a free show featuring, up close and intimate, community street bands from around the country?  With no amplification, no stages, plenty of fun costumes, and several bands playing at once just steps from each other, this unusual festival is a band geek's dream.

I'm not sure the term "community street band" captures the essence of these groups.  Imagine musicians of all ages, playing instruments they may well have played in high school band, playing a diverse set of toe-tapping tunes rooted in traditions from around the world, and (mostly) doing it really well.  Imagine taking traditional marching bands, giving them complete musical freedom and creative costumes, making them much more organic and original, and setting them free amongst a bunch of curious onlookers.  Trombones, clarinets, snares, washboards, sousaphones, saxophones, cymbals.  Belly dancers, hula-hoopers, wacky conductors, jugglers, babies.  All of this among the crowd, almost as if it was a musical flash mob.  It's a community celebration of music, and of people who come together to play music.  I was ready to dig out my old piccolo and sign up.

My already tired little ones were a little overwhelmed by it, to be honest.  They didn't know quite what to think.

But they later debated which bands were their favorites and why, so I know they enjoyed themselves.

After our fun afternoon at Honk!TX, I'm modifying my retirement plans.  When I retire, I will travel, sew, go to field school with my old archaeologist friends, and play piccolo in a community street band. 

If I start practicing now, maybe I'll be ready in 25 years.  Minor Mishap, go ahead and send me your audition schedule for 2037, okay?

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