The gal in charge of the programs for the Civic Band's concerts just emailed the official roster. And I just have to gloat.
FIVE oboes! Yes, FIVE!
THREE bass clarinets!
ELEVEN french horns! Freakin' ELEVEN!! We have more frenchies than trombones, more than all the saxes (although we do now have two baris, so how about that!). Unreal!!
This in an all-volunteer band. We get no pay, although we also don't have to pay to play. No auditions help. But more helpful is the attitude that everyone of all skill levels is welcome to join. It's kind of like that gym's commercial--no judgement zone.
The good thing about having all those folks on roster is that nobody feels constrained to make every concert every time. Life happens. Rarely does everyone show. We usually have two oboes and bassoons at a concert (although usually all three bass clarinets--how glorious is that!) Collie, I wish your band was like this, full of joy at making good music together, sometimes with some hard work which only makes it feel even better when the song gels. I can't think of anyone who acts better than the rest. And we've got some amazing players who could be (and might actually be) pros. Our first chair frenchie would make your jaw drop. A couple of our trumpets give me shivers with their control. Our lead tuba is planning on taking the picc's Stars & Stripes solo. Yet none of them treat the others as inferior players.
Gloating aside, I truly believe that the complete absence of anyone being judgemental contributes as much to our crazy numbers as open admission. I just wish everyone could have a Band like this to thoroughly enjoy playing with.
(edit to add that while there are a number of band directors and at least a couple of unconfirmed pros, most of us have day jobs with nothing to do with music, except perhaps piped in Muzak