I Sold My Saxophone – Part 1 (The Backstory)

March 3, 2013

Lisa Simpson saxophoneThis happened a couple of weeks ago, and this post has been hanging out in my drafts folder…

(Not that you are heavily tracking the continuity of my life, but since I’m gonna be talking about being in my apartment, and you may have noticed I’m in the middle of a little getaway from L.A. in the midwest, I just thought I’d put it out there.)

So, I sold my saxophone.

And it was weirdly emotional.

(This post is sort of a jaunt down high school lane, so feel free to ignore it and come back tomorrow.)

For those of you who haven’t known me forever, I’ll just say it. I was a bit of a star in high school (jazz hands to illustrate the point). Don’t even get me started about it, ’cause I could Al Bundy it out for days reliving those good ol’ times.

But I was a (yes, I’m sounding a bit conceited, but come on, let me be proud of myself) great saxophone player.

My freshman year in high school, I got first chair of the freshman band, and I got moved up to another band. My sophomore year, I humbly accepted first chair of the highest band (4th level). I sat next to an amazing senior boy whom I was very lucky to play with. He taught me so much, and he was wildly talented.

(My junior year, I not-so-humbly accepted the same spot – when instead of playing with an amazing, wonderful, crazy-talented boy (who grew up to be an incredibly sweet, brave, strong, man whom I admire to this day) whom I was absolutely privileged to sit beside; I was playing with a new to the district, thinks-he-can-kick-my-butt just because he’s a boy, and doubly thinks-he-can-kick-my-butt just because he’s older, guy.

Don’t get me wrong. I love competition. So, in some senses I was happy to have him around. But when someone is trying so hard to steal my throne (and thinks he’s entitled because of silly reasons such as gender or age), you better bet I was more of the “I will kick your butt around this high school all day and all night anytime you ask to challenge for my chair” attitude, than the “I have so much respect and admiration for you. –

And while somehow I may have won this chair, I believe you are certainly better than I am in some aspects of the saxophone. And I am so lucky to get to sit here everyday and learn from you – and to have someone who so greatly compliments my weaknesses, and will make an incredible teammate” attitude.)

Anyway (enough of that tangent), when I was a wee freshman, my dad was so proud of me being bumped to a higher band early, and getting first chair in freshman band (over a somewhat large saxophone section) that he bought me a brand new saxophone – and a super nice one at that.

We took a trip to the amazing Woodwind Brasswind. I played a few different saxophones until I found her – my Selmer Series III.

I used the saxophone a lot. I was heavily involved in multiple bands in high school. (And I played a whole lot. It seemed like there was a year where I did nothing but hang out in a practice room at school.) I played all around the state in honor bands, youth symphonies, and all that jazz. Then I played at Berklee College of Music. So, I got a lot of great use out of my saxophone.

Until I stopped playing.

There wasn’t a moment in my life where I thought, “I’m done.” But somewhere in quitting college and crazy life stuff, I just stopped playing.

I was cleaning my apartment out a couple of weeks ago – trying to organize my life a little more. And in my closet, I saw (behind a set of drawers) my saxophone.

This is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.

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