Another time, another life

Hi everyone,

My friends, Jim and Mary Alice Shannon, posted these pictures yesterday. They were taken of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in 1957.The conductor was Chester Moffatt. He was also head of the music department for Springfield Public Schools. He was a trombonist and became my teacher when my parents gave me a trombone for my 10th Christmas. I loved the instrument and was soon practicing an hour or more each day. When I was sixteen, I began private lessons of my own. In high school I became the music librarian for the band and orchestra, which meant that I kept all music folders stocked with the correct sheet music depending on the selections Mr. Moffatt chose to work on. I was president of the band and drum major for the marching band. During those years I was playing, beside Jim, in the house band on Saturday nights at a night club called Half a Hill, less than half a mile from where I now live. Here’s a close up. I’m the tall one with the pompadour and horn rimmed glasses in the center of the back row. By the time this picture was taken, I was 20 years old and had spent a summer playing in the house band at a club in Springfield, Illinois. I was principal trombonist in the Symphony for another year after this picture was taken. Jim went on to a life of music, teaching and playing. He still plays. For me it was off to Emory University for graduate work and my days of playing my trombone were over. I still have the horn in a closet as a reminder of another time, another life.

11 comments on “Another time, another life

  1. My mom played trombone in high school. By the time I was born, the horn was long gone, but she remembered those days fondly, as you remember yours.

  2. You are, for certain, the most interesting person I know! I love the memories you’re sharing. I didn’t realize we had “marching band” in common! I seriously considered trying out for drum major in college marching band, but the school newspaper called a bit harder. Oh, the twists and turns our lives take….adding up to make us who we are today!

    • And here we are, dear Su, marching still. Main reason I tried out for drum major was so I could stop playing that cold horn on winter days.

  3. I love this! What a great story from this time in your life! You can do anything, cousin! Jane Yolan’s Idea for a picture book has possibilities. Maybe you two could cook one up together again. My son Andrew played trombone beginning in 5th grade. Later he was in a quartet of horn players. Their theme song was my parent’s favorite one–“In the Mood.” He still has his trombone but hasn’t played it in years.

    • Thank you, cousin. Jane and I have some other things to work on first, but I won’t lose track of her newest brainstorm. First tune I learned to play on my horn was my dad’s favorite, “Star Dust.” He was so proud. So I was too!

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