4th of July Story
Otherwise known as “Why Roxanne Hates The Stars and Stripes Forever“
It was 2005. I was a wee sophomore in high school. (Well, almost a junior)
I was part of a local community band and we were doing a concert in the park that was supposed to end with a grand finale of Stars and Stripes and then the firework display.
I luckily arrived at the park early. There was some music on before us that I wanted to see a bit of. I grabbed my flute, piccolo, and music out of the back seat of my car.
And then epically slammed my middle finger of my right hand in the door. I basically tore, the whole tip of my finger open. I was bleeding like mad.
For a moment I didn’t know what to do as I stood there in the middle of the parking lot and trying very hard not to bleed all over my nice white concert shirt. But then I spotted a police officer and thought “Oh hey. He should have a first aid kit right?”
So I very politely walked up to him and asked for a band aid. He took one look at finger which was still bleeding like mad and radioed for some on-duty paramedics to come over.
At this point it was like maybe 45 minutes before I was supposed to go on stage.
The paramedics thought that maybe I needed stitches and that I should go to the emergency room. Which is when I started arguing with them.
“NO. You dont understand. I’m only one of two flute players and the only piccolo player. I HAVE SOLOS. I can’t go to the hospital right now. Just give me a damn band-aid or something”
I eventually won over the paramedics and they loaded me up with a healthy supply of gauze and band-aids after thoroughly cleaning out the cut.
I was determined to play through the pain. Before going on stage, I put on a few as band-aids as I thought I could get away with.
Most of the concert actually went alright. I was probably wearing a look of pain through out the whole thing. But really, I somehow managed.
And then came The Star and Stripes Forever. Our big finale piece.
I stood up for the big giant piccolo solo. About half way through my piccolo suddenly stopped working. Later I figured out it was because the pad on the thumb key fell off. Anyone who plays flute/piccolo knows that basically every note but C uses the thumb key which means every note but C was now not working on my piccolo.
I was horrified.
After taking a second to compose myself, I then picked up my flute and finished the thing on it.
To date….this is the worst concert experience of my life.
And every time I hear Stars and Stripes, I am reminded of it.