I really appreciate The Line series because that was me; the Percussionist, stuck in an Oboists’ body. The summer before my freshman year, I was told to show up to the Battery camp. The percussion director at the time was only in his second year with the school, however, and wasn’t familiar with me; therefore, he hadn’t prepared a spot or even an audition.
When I walked inside, the room became very quiet; I knew a few faces, but as freshmen, we all remember interpreting silence to be hostile, right? I was embarrassed; this wasn’t my territory. Up to that point, my territory had been front row, beside the flutes and in front of the altos. My specialty was hidden in my quick fingers and embouchure, not stroke and rebound. I was given cymbals and drafted onto the cymbal line, expected not to become of much in my first year. But it bit me. There was no poison- it just wouldn’t let go. Wouldn’t leave me.
And it saved me.