Friday, February 24, 2012

Notes from an Accidental Band Geek by Erin Dionne

Elsie Wyatt is a born French horn player, just like her father and her grandfather before her. In order to qualify for the prestigious summer music camp of her dreams, she must expand her musical horizons and join - gasp! - the marching band. There are no French horns in marching band (what the heck is a mellophone??), but there are some cute boys. And marching band is very different from orchestra: they march, they chant, they . . . cluck? Elsie is not so sure she'll survive, but the new friends she's making and the actual fun she's having will force her to question her dad's expectations and her own musical priorities. (Taken from Amazon.com.)

Mrs. Lassley's Review
After reading the first couple of chapters of this book, I had to put it down and just stare at it. It was like it was written for me, by me, about me. I was that freshman who marched with a mellophone. (Although, I was no where near as good as Elsie.) Everything that I was going through was in this book. So needless to say...I LOVED THIS BOOK! I could relate in so many ways to Elsie. One think that I did struggle with is how she cannot control her mouth. Everything she thinks comes out of her mouth...no matter who she hurts. What makes this book so amazing is that you totally feel for this girl who has never had any real friends except for her French horn. For those of you in band and thinking of going to high school and playing, this book is written for you.

*On a side note, I know that many of our 8th graders are deciding what they want to do in high school. I came from a school that was big. I graduated with 500 students. As an 8th grader, I wanted to continue both my basketball career and my band career in high school. My parents did not know if that is what was best because it was a lot of work, but I was able to do both for all four years in high school. Although basketball was important to me, marching band became a part of my soul. There is that moment when you step on the field that you never forget. If not for an amazing band director who worked with me through practice schedule conflicts, injuries, and just life, I would not have been able to have this amazing experience. Thank you Mr. Mangus for being such an amazing teacher!!!

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