#tbt Music: a constant

King3B_121813RWhen I bought my first house 30 years ago, I sold my trombone to buy something for my new home: a waterbed. Believe it or not, all these years later, I still have the waterbed 🙂 But I’ve missed my trombone, a silver King 3B with an F attachment that my mother bought me when I was in the 10th grade.

Over the years, I’ve looked, off and on, for a replacement. King stopped manufacturing this as some point, making it really hard to find. I bought a Yamaha trombone several years ago, but it just wasn’t the same.

About a month ago, I started looking in earnest. I came across a listing for a 1978 model – just 3 years newer than the one I played through high school and part of college. It was professionally refurbished. I stared at it for days.  The price tag was a shock –  more than three times what I had sold mine for in 1983.  Plus, this was a eBay listing. After exchanging messages with the seller, I pulled the trigger. The trombone was delivered yesterday.

As you can see from the photo, it’s a real beauty.

First thing I had to do, though, was go out and get a new mouthpiece. The one it shipped with just wouldn’t do – it’s the wrong color 🙂 And the ones for my Yamaha trombone wouldn’t fit: the King 3B has a small shank, while the Yamaha has a large shank. After a couple of calls, I headed out to a local music store and bought a couple of mouthpieces. (They are also more expensive than they used to be, although not three times as much.) Bought a bunch of other stuff, too 🙂 A gal needs her Superslick!

After a slight detour (that’s why I have a 2013 Volvo C70 in my driveway, in case anyone is looking – it’s a loaner car), we spent hours last night playing trombone and flute duets. My arm is sore – it’s been a long time since I held a trombone for that many hours.

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For this Throwback Thursday, here are a few photos of me from my earlier music days. I’ve always been a singer – that’s a requirement for a PK 🙂 My first instrument was a violin – was never any good at that. I started on the french horn in 7th grade and switched to trombone in 9th grade. Perhaps my most fun class in high school was lab band, where we learned how to play all of the instruments. (We spent 9 weeks each on woodwinds, brass and percussion, with the last 9 weeks spent putting them all together.)

I was, initially, a music major in college – trombone, of course. It was during my freshman year that I learned to play piano, something that has really served me well all these years. It allowed me to direct church choirs and make a living: when I started my CPA practice, I had no clients. I made my living singing and playing 6 nights a week.

Music has always been – and will always be – a constant companion for me. Although my performing days are over, playing music is what I do whenever I have a few spare minutes. I’ll never be as good as I was – first chair trombone, able to sing circles around the likes of Whitney Houston – but it’s still so much fun.


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