This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

A Hero's Life

04 April 2014

Dear Band Students and Parents,

This semester our school band has really taken off for new heights in music.
All the kids are practicing hard for our Spring Concert next week
and I know that you will be impressed with their super sound!

They are no longer just beginners. They are now advanced beginners
on their way to meet new and exciting musical challenges.

So you can be very proud of your child’s efforts and accomplishments,
as parental encouragement has been a big factor in achieving this progress.

Being a member of the band can be very rewarding for a young child.
Learning to play an instrument helps develop many good habits
like proper posture, mental concentration, and finger coordination.

Playing in the band teaches teamwork and
offers children an opportunity to experience
a whole new level of artistic communication
that will stay with them for a lifetime.

This year we are especially grateful to Dunmore's Music Store for
helping to outfit the kids with new instruments. 

When Mr. Dunmore said he could make a great deal with
the Acme Accordion Company, he wasn't kidding!
That special discount of an electric guitar
with every five accordions we ordered was an unexpected surprise. 
Maybe next year we could add some saxophones or a tuba.

It has been my pleasure and honor to teach
these fantastic kids the Fun d'mentals of music this year.
  I look forward to meeting you all at our concert.

Sincerely,    Marvin Gardner
                   Music Teacher
                                           Placid Plains Middle School

Teaching.   It's a heroic life.

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The preceding deconstruction of this 8"x10" glossy photograph of an unknown school band, was inspired by the amazing vernacular photos that are creatively displayed at the blog, Tattered and Lost.    Click the link to discover more class photos that illustrate the joy of teaching and the wonder of schoolchildren.

We can never know exactly what this band sounded like but thanks to YouTube we can get pretty close.  Here is the Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra from Scotland.

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Keep in mind that this was supposedly only their first rehearsal!

Since it is a small world after all, we shouldn't be surprised that the musical cultures of China and Scotland would share a mutual enthusiasm for the accordion. But who would expect such a lively rendition of a favorite British march from the Beijing Children’s Palace Baidi Accordion Orchestra.

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The thunder of applause demands an encore of a traditional Chinese folk tune.

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This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
click the link to spot more vintage photos.


Alex Daw said...

Your post has rendered me speechless...again. With laughter of course.

La Nightingail said...

You always put together such wonderful collages - starting out with photos of individual players and gradually bringing them all together in the whole picture. I really look forward to your posts, and the videos were great! What fun.

Brett Payne said...

A masterful treatment, as always, thank you.

Boobook said...

High fives for all teachers :)

Howard said...

I love the sound of the accordian. These clips make me want to buy one. I don't think my neighbours would appreciate it though.

Wendy said...

Teaching can be a rather dangerous profession if you pay much attention to news reports. Being a music teacher must be the best since students are there because they WANT to be unlike classes in math or history or English that are required.

Postcardy said...

Your post just made me look at my junior high "School Memories" book which has pictures of the band and orchestra. The pictures are so small that I needed to use a magnifying glass to see myself in the back row with the drums.

Anonymous said...

Well that Chinese conductor certainly gets pleasure from his music. Just watch his face. But I wonder about some of the students. Some are obviously getting pleasure from their playing but some look very lacking in enthusiasm. But that certainly gives you a new appreciation of the versailty of the piano accordian. Thanks.

Bob Scotney said...

The performance of a maestro shines out from this post. Well done, Mike.

Little Nell said...

The wonder of Sepia Saturday where one Sepian makes use of another Sepian's site! I do like the way you deconstructed this photo.

Jackie van Bergen said...

I wonder if the kids playing the march knew the silly words that we as kids used to give that tune!?

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

The very last photo of the Chinese playing the Beer Barrel Polka which was popular at Polish weddings in my hometown made me laugh. A great array and tribute to learners everywhere.

Alan Burnett said...

Photographic deconstruction at its very best. Perhaps we have the making of a new photographic movement - the Deconstructionalists


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