The Desert Winds

A large part of my job the last nine years was to play percussion in concert band, or as we sometimes referred to it, "Combat Band." I was getting to perform incredible music, and I was miserable. Because I wanted to play guitar. When you want to play guitar, a pair of cymbals just don't do the trick.

There were some exceptions. It was always fun to play Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" at the annual holiday concert (except for having to fight the trumpets over tuning at the end of a demanding program). I got to perform Steve Vai's song "Liberty" at the Army Bandleader Training conference with full band, and was a field-wide rock star for a week or two because of it.

But overall, I had a pretty crummy attitude towards it.

Then I saw a Facebook post from The Desert Winds, a fantastic wind ensemble here in Las Vegas.

I was introduced to this group by an old friend who performs with this group. Over the last year, I was privileged to attend a couple performances, and was really impressed with them. Anyway, the FB post. They needed a percussionist. "Hey," I thought to myself. "I played percussion for the last nine years. I played really cool, hard stuff." (It's amazing that I remembered all this, considering my frame of mind while I did these things.) And, by a combination of poor judgement and desperation, they let me in.

And, wonder of wonders, I'm having a blast. I hated it when I had to do it, but now I get to do it, just because I want to. I guess the lesson is that life would be a lot better if we think about "getting to" do what we have to, rather than "having to." Because really, there are a lot worse ways to spend your time than hitting stuff with sticks.

Check out The Desert Winds at If you are in the area, attend their next concert October 12 at Life Springs Christian Church at 7:30pm.

Follow and like them this week so that the percussion and flute sections (don't ask) demonstrate their obvious superiority over the other sections.

Leave a comment

Add comment