Monday, December 28, 2009

Ohio State School for the Blind to march in the Rosebowl Parade

Thirty two musicians and 36 volunteers will be marching in the Rosebowl parade when the Bucks meet the Ducks on New Year's Day. Blind musicians aren't particularly rare, but marching together? That takes a lot of effort, practice and heart.
    "This is going to be hard. Six miles is a long way, longer than the parades they've marched in to prepare for Pasadena. In the past year, they've been playing and playing and playing. Performances in Lancaster, at churches, in Cincinnati, at the Ohio State University skull session and in the Circleville Pumpkin Festival parade.

    Practice has not made perfect. That's the honest truth.

    Eleven band members have perfect pitch (hearing them hum during marching-only practice is beautiful enough to make you hold your breath).

    But when they pick up their tattered and battered and borrowed instruments, not every note is hit just-so.

    Having perfect pitch "doesn't mean you have the finesse you need. It doesn't mean you have the articulation skills you need," says Carol Agler, the blind school's music director and co-director of the band. She turns no one away who signs up to play at the beginning of the year. No auditions are required, just desire.

    It hasn't made a lick of difference to the audiences who have heard the blind band play."
Story by Jennifer Smith Richards. Go Marching Panthers!

As a brief Monday Memory, I mention watching my grandmother play the piano at our home in Forreston, IL. They didn't have a piano in their home, as I recall. They didn't visit often--we would go there--because she got car sick. I'm not sure how old she was--maybe mid-to-late 50s. She began losing her sight in grade school so wasn't able to go to high school, and was completely blind by her early 20s. So I was really surprised that her hands and her ears remembered from all those years when she was a child and took piano lessons. Thirty some years later she was residing in the nursing home in Oregon, IL and her roommate was a woman a few years older, named Olive. She had been Grandma's piano teacher. They had such a wonderful time together, and when Olive went back to her home/care giver, they talked on the phone just like young girls.

1 comment:

Norma said...

Other bands from Ohio in the Rose Parade

Pickerington High School

Ohio University

Ohio State University