A perfect storm of excuses.
First there was the concert band cancellation. It happens. But still there was big band practice. Then the sub drummer canceled at 4 PM when practice starts at 6:15 PM. So we were missing the pianist, drummer, lead alto sax, 2d tenor. I thought, no biggie. We’ll get the director to work with the trumpet ‘cuz they need *a Lot of help*. But I don’t think his heart was in it.
We have the MJB gigs tomorrow and already two saxes have begged off which was kinda lame. So Suzy is stepping in to cover 2d alto sax. And the spontaneous jazz jam is pretty much being blown off by the rhythm section. Did I ever mention it is really hard to find musicians who would rather play than eat? So I was thinking about all the excuses that an event coordinator hears. Trust me, I hear a lot.
I have asked everyone to make sure they provide a sub if they can’t make it. But 98% of the band members couldn’t be bothered. The principal chair musicians do a decent job but even then not all of them. So I’m thinking (where’s my crystal ball) that in the future when there are more good musicians than seats I’ll consider passion for the band as a criteria. What good is a player if they blow off half the practices and many of the gigs.
One of the things I could do is close down the shakiest band and put the energy towards starting a sax quartet again. There are fewer people to deal with and coordination is easier. But I really pushed for this new band so I’ll be damned if I don’t give it a year to grow. But the musicians who majorly suck, don’t work on their music, make the same mistakes over and over, and don’t show up enough will have to go. Those people want to play but are not willing to invest the time and effort to improve. And listening to them play the hard parts over and over again because they didn’t take the time earlier in the week… Well, that gets old. AND it chases away any really decent musician.
Building a band isn’t easy. Getting subs for people over and over is not fun. Not being able to gig because a whole section sucks, that should be unacceptable. It will be interesting to see how this musical soap opera works out in “As the drum turns…”.