Community Band Drama ~ Johan de Meij’s “Gollum”

I was listening to this video, yet again, and marveling at how much of the band dynamics were captured. Filmed by a musician and arranger, Jeff Keith, he pans to the soloist right in time, does a lovely split screen for the trombone and soprano sax duet (minute mark 5:12), and more.

Having been in the the Woodinville Community Band since 2002, there are so many friends, wonderful musicians, and memories as I watch this. Here are a few of my favs.

This song arranged by Johan de Meij, features Molly Pond on soprano sax in wicked, quirky soliloquy with the rest of the band. Providing the voice for the Lord of the Rings’ Gollum, it is not always beautiful and actual sounds like moaning in places. And the “unnamed” trumpet who drops his mute right as the soprano sax solo starts, … Well, let’s just say that I have a lifetime ribbing to provide this fellow.

My friend Gordon Brown covers the contrabass bassoon for us, which is especially noticeable during the duet. The low pulsing sound required him to gasp for air repeatedly, yet he did it with style and panache. This was the first time since I’ve been in the band that we had a contrabass bassoon in attendance. Those low notes shook the building and rattled one’s back teeth.

My friend Shannon Nelson covers the second bassoon part for us with our regular bassoon, Lev. I see Carol Higgins is on bass clarinet with the orange cream-sicle mouthpiece that I gifted her some year before this concert. She and her husband Ron are now retired from performance music.

Dave Franzwa on trombone does a wonderful job during the duet of matching Molly during the duet even though they are on opposite sides of the band! I see the band president Gary Anderson’s daughter playing the flute in a band with her dad on trumpet and her mom on drums. The family that plays together…

Young Taylor Cramer, still in high school sits in for us on alto sax as Vanessa Armstrong is on maternity leave. Diversity of age really adds a lot to this organization.

This band has become a family to Suzy and me. People come and go, but fortunately we have some recordings like this to help us remember the incredible heights this band reached under the patient administrations of our director, Leah Weitzsacker.

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra) a GOLD sax quartet, and enjoy time with family and friends.
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1 Response to Community Band Drama ~ Johan de Meij’s “Gollum”

  1. Bertie says:

    Very nice post, Jim. I remember that piece. I’m glad you and Suzy have something like this that you enjoy so much to add love and dimension to your lives. I enjoy my choir like that. Music brings so very much to our lives.

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