We really don’t get much snow here on the Highveld. Not because it doesn’t get cold enough, but because we are (supposed!) to be a summer rainfall region, so when it’s wet, it’s usually not cold enough, and when it’s cold enough… You get the idea. But every now and then, events conspire.
That’s pretty much what happened on the 7th August this year. We woke up to snow. It snowed the whole day. And my pupils were playing in the local art festival…
Normally, everyone tunes up outside the venue, practises for a while to warm up and then goes in. This year only place we could tune was a building a short distance away. Which meant that the guitars would go out of tune the minute they were taken into the cold again. They didn’t want us tuning inside the venue because that would slow things down and they were already running a long way behind time. Of course, this had to be the year I had entered a number of trios and quartets. A quartet of guitars means 24 strings to be tuned. And you only need one or two to be out for the whole thing to sound like a musical toothache.
I know many of them would have played better with a chance to warm up, the tuning problems were nothing short of diabolical, but we got through it. And that’s what counts – being able to play under less than perfect circumstances. No one stayed away or made excuses. And I’m proud of every one of them.