This Sunday I finally made the effort to buy my own straight mute.
(I've been borrowing Papa's up until now, and felt bad about his going
through the trouble of bringing it for me all the time.)

My first trip to the music store in Grand Front was a bust, because
apparently they only stock cup mutes and practice mutes (really?).
But one of the clerks told me about the "Low Brass Center", a specialty
music store that caters to low brass instruments. It wasn't far, so
I decided to try my luck there.

I was more fortunate at the next store. I bought a straight mute,
looked around at all the shiny trombones, and showed up to rehearsal
a few hours later, only to be reminded that, for this concert, the trombones
were going to simply use cup mutes for all the muted sections.
Whoops. So it turns out I'll be borrowing from Papa for a while yet. (Sorry Papa.)

Rehearsal was good. I'm still not confident about a few pieces, but that's
largely due to my less-than-stellar attendance in December. I'll be practicing
quite a bit on my own to make up for it.

One final observation, since this is so long already.

It's never more apparent how much everyone loves music than before one
of our winter concerts. Though everyone battles with their own frustrations
("Why can't I hit this note?", "Why am I having so much trouble with this
phrase?", etc. ad infinitum), it's clear from everyone's myriad displays of
dedication that a love of music is the driving force bringing us all together.
It's my hope that this love for music transcends the stage on the day of
our concert, and reaches all of you who come out to listen to us.

If it doesn't reach you, you'll just have to sit closer the next time.

That's it from me. See you on February 25th!

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