Toot My Own Horn
A few weeks back, Jess and I headed off to City Center to see a performance of Pipe Dream, a little-known Rogers & Hammerstein musical based on an equally little-known Steinbeck Novella, Sweet Thursday.
The play itself is kind of a mess – little plot, pointless characters, ridiculous dialogue. But the music, like any Rogers and Hammerstein music, is excellent, in a wind comes sweeping down the plain kind of a way.
The highlight – to me, at least – was that the orchestra was staged up on risers behind the actors, in full view. Mainly, I enjoyed the show as a chance to listen to and watch a truly excellent group of musicians at work. And, in particular, I enjoyed listening to and watching Tony Kadleck, the lead trumpet in the orchestra, of whom I’ve been a long-standing fan. I mean, check out this discography! I gushed about his playing during intermission, and then again after the show, until Jess rolled her eyes and started ignoring me.
So, cut to now, a few weeks later, and I somehow get tapped to play trumpet myself in a fundraiser for music education in NYC schools. The organizer of the event sends along a packet of music that we’ll be playing, as well as a roster of the musicians they’ve roped in. I recognize a bunch of the names, as it seems all the other players are professionals. Still, clearly due to poor judgement on the organizers’ parts, I’m playing second trumpet, ahead of two Broadway players.
Playing first: Tony Kadleck.
Time to practice.