Jessica Lewis, the trombone soloist in our band, reminds me of Marci Kobayashi-Smith, my good friend in high school. Jessica is tall, with cropped dark hair and skin like the color of vanilla ice cream. She plays in the toasty church where we practice, wearing a knit hat in a quirk that Marci did not have but I wouldn’t have put it past her.
The second time we played through Marceau Symphonique by Alexandre Guilmant, Jessica did take off the scarf wound around her neck. I was glad because watching her work that hard in the heat made me sweat.
Most of all, the young trombonist reminds me of Marci because she has a calm presence that fills the air. When Jessica plays, it is as though all of her quiet energy moves through the horn and dances around us all.
The teenaged soloist has been accepted to the prestigious Jacobs School of Music in Indiana and will play at the Puyallup Meeker Mansion on Monday, July 4th at 3pm for the annual Family Social and Community Band Concert. The rest of us band members try to keep up and play a few other numbers you might know. But Jessica is something to see and hear all for yourself.
The concert is free and the mansion yard opens at 2:00 pm with concessions sold by the historical society. Be sure to say hi if you come. I’ll be sitting with those clarinets enjoying the sound of Jessica’s art even as I play along. I could only be happier if my friend Marci could get out her trombone and magically get here from Japan to play with us, too.