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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Kenzie Fell Down on January 19, 2008

Thanks to Mrs. C

I walked into the band hall this morning feeling great. This weekend I had no homework besides an English essay on an easy topic, and they were playing the Australian Open on TV, and I went to an awesome movie with some friends. My life felt perfect. Then our director finished our warm-up chorale with this statement:
'I'm going to give you another two seconds to practice for the chair test while I fill out the attendance.'

Oh, man. Chair test? I look around. Everyone's already playing through their scales. A scale test, then. Shouldn't be too hard, unless he picked some freaky scale in three octaves and five sharps, or the chromatic.
'Hey,' I nearly shout to the kid next to me. He looks at me, and I ask him if he knows which scale we're doing. He shrugs, replies 'He said it's a surprise', and turns back to fingering through a D flat. Great. I'm only half-way done marking some of the trickier fingerings when the director hops back up on the stand.

'Alright, guys, enough.' He waves a cut-off, then points to the trombones.
'Bones first. How about... F concert chromatic? When you're ready.' This last he aims at the first chair, who winces as he looks at the key, then nods as he mentally checks through his positions. The first notes are actually pretty good, but by the seventh on the descent I think the whole band agrees that he's not going to make an A. The director sighs, cuts him off, marks something down in his book, then motions to the second chair.

Trying to ignore the painful sounds coming from some of the less-practiced players, I start to finger along, but the fingers aren't really the issue. It's the range. After the trombones have done, the director sets in on the flutes (and the piccolo). Only they're playing a G scale.

So I'm back to square one so far as practicing goes.

Once the flutes (and the piccolo) are finished, the director turns on us.
'French horns,' he barks, 'How about we try the D concert? Think you can manage?'

Startled, I look down the row at the rest of my section. We're all smiling now. I play through without a single missed note, and I don't even crack the high A. In fact, our section ended up with the highest scores in the whole band. Well, excepting the percussion, but that's totally beside the point.

I mean, wow. Who could've guessed that out of all those scales, he would pick the one we'd just been working on in sectionals with Mrs. C?

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