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The true magic of music

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We started our journey in the twilight of dawn, we boarded the long coaches and began our trek south towards “The most magical place on Earth”. We powered on through the mountains of West Virginia, the bogs the Western Carolinas. Through the night we rumbled through the backwoods of Georgia. We woke up for our first stop about 25 miles south of the border it was just half-light in the early cockcrow of day two of our spring break. We could already smell the sweet salty air of the ocean and the gentle rustle of the wind through the palms lulled us as we made our way off the bus to stretch and prepare for our busy day ahead of us.
We arrived at a large cafeteria that already had a large breakfast buffet set up for us. Soon after our group walked next door to see a massive, stuffed Great-White hanging from the rafters above us as we entered the souvenir shop to buy 5-dollar trinkets for our families back home. We crammed ourselves in and moved through the shop and bought our items and headed out to the buses to reload and head out on our expedition once again.
We finally arrived to our destination for the day, we were at Blizzard Beach. We walked towards a small cabana through the pure white sand below our feet, and four small sun chairs for those who wished to rest in the cool shade away from the strong mid-day sun. I chose to spend my time swimming against the wave pool and riding some of the larger slides. Many others chose similar pursuits as I had, while some took to more gentle rides. I ate at none of the many snack stands about mid-day. Once the sky started to redden in the late afternoon we loaded up our buses and headed back to the hotel for the night, the next day was going to be a big day for us.
We started the day in the Magic Kingdom walking down Main-Street USA towards the world famous castle. I had noticed how much smaller it seemed now than when I was just an ankle biter. You could see the flushed white pseudo-stone walls accented by the pale blue tower belfries. The accenting carvings around each window meticulously hand carved and painted to match the rooftops above them. Elegant stained glass windows depicting each character from Mickey to Pluto and everyone in between. The white marble walkways surrounded the fabled palace.
You could see the characters fighting off a magic fiend from one of the many stories intertwined with one of Walt's brain-children. The pale blue pyrotechnic smoke tickled the nostrils with each fireball and spark fountain. The flower garden that lied as an accent to the large towers,and immense walls of the castle. Topiary’s stand guard is if they waited for the return of the witch that had attacked just minutes before. Fountains sat to each side of the garden and in the lake that led to the swamp area in which Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer played. A large steamship rounded the lake and then made way down the river to be waved to by a small tribe of Native Americans or even get attacked by the infamous “Injun Joe” that we were told went missing in a cave long ago.
Finally night began to fall and it was our time to bring some magic to the night. We snuck into a false wall to the “Area 51 of Disney” as I like to call it. We were instructed to remove the batteries from all of our electronics and place them in our bags and we left them on the bus. I strapped on my marching uniform and assembled my horn. The line up was the same as usual, woodwinds in the front, then the percussion, then the baritones and mellophones, trumpets, and then me, the lone sousaphone. The color guard followed the band with their illuminated poles with a neon pattern criss-crossing the solid black banners. We approached the gate silently and waited. The seconds passed like hours, each second mutely ticks through my head like needles to the brain. But, I obeyed orders and let each moment prod my mind with anticipation.
I quiet click broke the silence, the gates split revealing the illuminating colors of the stringed lights wired from building to building, it was a new experience for me. I have been in parades before, and gotten my share of praise. This was just so different from anything I've ever done before. I had jumped from performing for 50 people to 5,000 people. I had never experienced the majesty I had before as I marched forward through the gates, walls of people on each side neon floats falling behind us as we paraded on. I absorbed myself into the music keeping perfect rhythm and time, I lost all track of the outside world, I played my solo, which is very rare for a tuba player to do. But I played it, I played it strong and powerful keeping the melodious tones flowing and my feet rolling. I lost all nervousness that I had and I was there, playing the song and smiling.
I was in pure bliss and the euphoria was better than any drug I could ever do. I had made magic that night. That experience let me realize that music is one thing that ties everyone together. Every culture has their own music and their own styles. Music is a universal language, using tones and rhythms to convey every thought and every feeling. When you play music, you leave your problems and worries behind. It shows emotion without the stress. It is art that makes true magic. It's magic that doesn't require a snowy dove or top hat. It reaches into the soul and pulls out feelings you may never have felt before. That is the true magic of music.



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