Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

The 31-Day Blog Challenge, Day Eleven: Pride Goeth…

Today’s writing prompt:

31 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE, DAY 11: Most proud moment?


Pride goeth before a fall.

Hubris, and all that.

So for a very long time, I’ve been a little hesitant around the idea of “being proud of” people or things or achievements. Mine … or anybody else’s (and is it presumptuous to be proud of someone else’s achievement? … I so need to relax).

Maybe I overthink this.

But perhaps I can make an exception if the pride is directed toward the accomplishments of people I was working with at the time. This would imply a certain amount of basking in a certain amount of glow, but only that. Maybe.

Well, let’s see …


I have already described the UMass marching band going into the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis and showing the Bands of America Grand Nationals audience a thing or two about how to do this college band thing (and yes, they played a couple of my arrangements; but THEY played the heck out of them. I didn’t).

I’ve already described the Holy Cross marching band taking a trip to the University of Delaware and playing nice with a college band ten times their size (and yes, I was their director at the time, but THEY took the positively crazy itinerary that I set before them and made it a Trip for the Ages; I just made sure they cleaned out the bus afterward).

I’ve also made mention of the Christmas Cantata that I wrote three years ago, which the church choir with whom I do my church-gigging made to sound like real music. I’ve mentioned the three children’s musicals that I’ve written, with the encouragement of the children’s theater company for whom I happily toil (and the second of them, a little opus that was sorta West Side Story as viewed through a barnyard fowl lens, might have been my perfect storm of silly; I will say that).

And honestly, I am nothing but humbled to be surrounded by the elite company of the other UMass and Holy Cross bands’ halls of fame. I can never say strongly enough how big a deal it is to have been slipped in, amongst the Hannums and Klesches and Principes of the world. No fooling. Sometimes I kinda shake my head in wonderment.


I think, though, that … whether I’m observing one of them playing circles around all the other oboes in the room … or whether I’m listening to one of them play a drum set in a way that no not-quite-ten-year-old should be able to play (except that the kid practices his heart out) … or I’m watching one of them throw baseballs *right to me*, with a certain amount of *zip* … or I’m listening to one of them step to the church’s lectern and function as a Sunday morning service liturgist quite ably thank you very much (even if she’s not in high school yet) …

… truly, I think my most proud moments are when I watch my niece and nephew do their thing. Sometimes their “thing” is musical or sporting or some other kind of activity. Other times their “thing” is being truly decent people — treating people younger than they are very sweetly indeed, or hanging out with their peers in a way that makes you think it might be okay that “children are our future”, or interacting with adults in a way that belies their relative youth.

So, with the understanding that I am deeply, deeply biased about this one particular topic …

I’m just proud to be able to say, “I’m the uncle.”

And I can’t wait to find out what’s going to be the next thing each of them do, that will make me doubly proud to say so.

Not hubris, but admiration, then.


May 11, 2016 - Posted by | blogging, family | , , , , , , , ,

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