French Horn – Jazz Band – Guilford College – night #6

JANUARY 27, 2011 by Jesse Selengut

Yesterday was another good day down in North Carolina. I’ll be brief today: Clifton had a French Horn lesson with one of the best French Horn players in the state. He came back from the lesson just beaming with happiness saying it was the best music lesson he’d ever had in his life.

He has had an infatuation with the brass for almost a year now. He started with a trumpet but his arms are just too short to play with a plunger mute. He moved to the cornet as it is a little stubbier. He never really found his voice or any real enthusiasm about it. Then came the French Horn. Since he purchased his first horn (he has FOUR of them I think) he has not turned back. He practices every day. I’m a brass player and have been since I was 8 years old. I know how hard it is to do and how long it takes to develop muscles and tone. The French Horn is way harder than the trumpet. My point, Hyde is making amazing progress. Every time when we’ve been doing our meditations this week he has been impressing me with what he can do. A four octave range! Nice. Geeking out in brass land.

In the afternoon we swing by Greensboro college to sit in with the jazz big band. Peter knew the professor and we met the tenor player and one of the singers the night before at the Flatiron. It was like a sight reading workshop for me. Fun to hang out. It was like a time machine trip to be playing third trumpet (the regular guy was out or something so I took his stand). More interesting was to see Jennifer and Sara from the night before being school musicians. It’s a small town I guess. You keep bumping into the same people.

In the evening we went over to Guilford college for our performance at the coffee shop. We had dinner in the college commissary. We were joking with the students who make the burritos and it was a real fun interaction. Stefan like olives. To an absurd extent. As in, “OH YEAH!!!! THEY HAVE OLIVES!!!!! YES!!!” So he got a burrito with everything and when it came to the olive part he kept asking for more olives. Eventually this burrito was so big, the guy had to get out another tortilla to wrap the thing up. Stefan met us upstairs in a quiet room where we were eating and revealed this monstrosity. It was bigger than the man’s head. He was able to eat about a fifth of it.

The show: Thanks mostly to the girl who performed before us, there was a strong full crowd of listeners. We did our thing and had a good time. Some local swing dancers had heard about the show. Thanks, Ben. I’ll assume you are responsible. Well done again! We did shake that thing and eventually got everyone dancing along to the Shy Tuna. So silly and yet I love it.

Guilford is Baby Hands’ alma mater. He knew where everything was, knew several of the professors, showed us his dormitory building. He seemed to be relishing in the bizarreness of being back on campus. After the show, a little crowd gathered around the merch table and we were hanging out. The girls there were being especially flirty with Clifton and Hands. Clifton garnered a wedding proposal. Hands garnered the above photo… The Baby Hands fun fact of the day is geared specifically to Guilford College Ladies: Hands was a freshman at Guilford College in 1996. You were five years old at the time. Just sayin’.