Our Stories: Victor’s Trombone Solo

I played trombone from elementary through high school. There weren’t a lot of solos in the concert band repertoire as I recall, especially for the 2nd trombone, but one time in stage band, I had a solo. It was pretty simple, based on a descending scale.

I stood up, looked away from my score, started my solo, and it was AWFUL. I soldiered on until I couldn’t any longer, which was right about when one of the band directors entered on his sax and improvised a nice little solo. What happened? I started the scalic passage one note too low without realising it.

I no longer play trombone but I continue as a part-time professional chorister. Is this little episode connected to why, to this day, I prefer ensemble performance any day over solos?