As a kid, I always had my little “music niche” and I was always interested in finding an instrument that best fit me. I went through the many motions before stumbling on the high brass quintet.
My Experience with High Brass Quintets
It wasn’t easy trying to find four other people who played the instruments needed for a brass quintet. For those who don’t know, a brass quintet consists of the following:
- 2 Trumpets or cornets
- 1 French horn
- 1 Tuba
- 1 Trombone
I was 12 years old and, at the time, I didn’t really care which instrument I played. As long as I was able to get the group together, that’s all that really mattered to me at the time.
So, naturally, my mother helped me with forming up the team. She knew several people with kids that she worked with that were around my age. After countless persistence, my mother was able to find me four other people who wanted to play with me.
My First Experience with the Group
We signed up for classes, hoping that it would be a great way for us all to bond together and learn the instruments. After all, playing with complete strangers can be awkward – especially when your mother was the one who introduced you together (awkward pre-teen stage of life).
So after signing up for the class that featured help for high brass quintets, I was eager and willing to do whatever it took to get this rolling.
During our first day of practice, me and the other four guys realized that we really didn’t like each other before even entering the room to begin the practice. Despite the tension between us, we pressed on with our practice.
The instructor gave us a brief overview of all the instruments and how they added to the sound of the high brass quintets. While they all looked vastly different, I was excited to try each one. The sounds made me feel euphoric listening to them – so I figured it couldn’t be difficult learning each one since I loved music so much.
Was I wrong?!
We all sat to finally try the instruments and then I realized just how difficult it was going to be to form a quintet with these guys. Only one other person seemed into the quintet, beside myself, and it was apparent only a few minutes into practice.
We decided to take a break after only 30 minutes. I went outside and took a brief lap around the campus we were on. After I came back, I discovered that we were now two people short of a quintet!
Practice Continued with The Remaining Two
After several rough practices, the three of us that were left seemed to have really made progress together. I had decided to play the trumpet and the other two chose a French horn and tuba, giving us more of an idea of who we needed to get into the quintet to complete it.
Although it was only us three for a while, we all began to warm up and we bonded together. It was astounding that I couldn’t stand these two guys and now, after only a few weeks, they were becoming my best friends.
Two months into rehearsals, we were finally able to complete our quintet, bringing two new guys into the crew. Both had experience in the instruments we needed (trumpet and trombone), which made the progression even easier. We figured that, even if we didn’t like each other, we would all get along due to our interest in high brass quintets and music in general.
Our First Performance Six Months Later
After six months of practice, we decided we were ready to showcase our abilities at my school’s talent show. Although nerve-racking, it was the first opportunity we had to show just how good we were. Eager and excited, we headed out to the stage that night to play our own sheet music for our quintet.
We stepped out and the lights instantly brightened on us. We stood there for a moment, staring at the crowd and then back to each other. This was our moment of truth.
As the music roared from my trumpet and was followed up with the sound of the tuba, trombone and then French Horn – we made history that day.
Not only did we get a standing ovation, we also won the talent show that year! It was one of the proudest moments of my life at the time and I was so glad that I had the opportunity to perform with a high brass quintet. Not only that, but I also made some lifelong friends who, even to this day, I am still best friends with and hangout with regularly.
My experience was one that is unforgettable and it reminds me of a time of my life when music was the inspiration to everything.