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October 2013, vol 9, no 3

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Terri L. French

Again from the coda

I sit in the third row of the clarinet section, next to the last chair. I should be playing a saxophone. Saxophones are cool and jazzy. But my mother played the clarinet and in order to save money, stuck me with her old instrument. Old was an understatement. Her parents bought it used when she started band. Most of the other clarinets in my 9th grade band class are plastic and slick and shiny. Mine is made of wood and the finish is dull like a charcoal briquette. "You'll never get any tone out of that thing," said the director, as he gently shook the instrument checking the tightness of my embouchure. I wonder what instrument mother had really wanted to play.

broken reeds
the whippoorwill's whistle
stuck in his throat