On Sunday I'll be off to Botswana Music Camp in spite of the blocks that kept getting put up to stop me.
In the middle of the year, after many years of sponsorship, Standard Chartered Bank decided to stop sponsoring Music Camp and we were all told it was cancelled. Sadness ensued. After 25 years, the institution started by the likes of Hugh Masekela was to be no more. Boo- hoo! But then in from stage left, on a white horse, rode Arts and Culture. "No!" they said and wrote a cheque for a whopping P150,000- and voila! Music Camp was back on track.
But for me that was not the end of my worries. I play trumpet, badly at the best of times, and when I go to Music Camp I look forward to being part of the band. This is my only time all year I get to play with anyone except myself. This year I was afraid I wouldn't be able to play with the band because of my tooth. One of my front teeth has been trying to fall out for about two years now. During my trip to Lagos/London earlier this year things got worse. The only option now is to eventually pull it out and put the fake one screwed into my head. I've put this off because a friend of mine said they're not as strong as the natural tooth.
The way I was playing trumpet was affected by this tooth's movement. I was finding it hard to get most any note, especially above middle C. But last night a wonderful thing happened. I was practicing and thought maybe I could find something on the internet that could help me play with my crooked tooth. This is when I found a video by Charlie Porter, an accomplished American trumpeter, who showed me that, in fact, I'd been playing wrong- forever. He showed me the correct way to position my mouth on the mouthpiece and suddenly there is no more pressure on my tooth and no more pain. Thank you Mr Charlie Porter!!
So I'm off to Music Camp for a week with my new embouchure and ready to have fun! See you on the other side! (Next week I've set up some posts from my weekly column in The Voice)