Several weeks ago I found myself standing in front of a crowded auditorium, speaking to hundreds of eager high school jazz players who had come to hear Wayne Bergeron, a Grammy-award-winning jazz trumpet player, instruct them. It was my job to introduce Wayne and to “pump up” the audience. “You know that I’m just a housewife, right?” I’d asked the guy who told me to introduce Wayne. “You signed up to host this clinic, so you introduce him,” he said. So there I stood at the microphone, reading Wayne’s bio aloud from the jazz festival program (because I knew nothing about Wayne until that very moment), and then said, rather sheepishly, in what I hoped was a crowd-energizing tone, “Let’s give it up for Wayne!”
How did I end up introducing Wayne Bergeron, you ask? Because I have a son, Shane, who plays trumpet in the Crescent Super Band and, wanting to be a supportive mother, I’d signed up as a parent volunteer to help run the Peaks Jazz Festival, where my son’s band was performing. So I spent a whole afternoon at the festival, introducing Wayne and sitting in on his trumpet clinic, then escorting a high school jazz band through its adjudication round (and no, I didn’t know what “adjudication” meant until that day). And all the while I found myself marveling at how our children’s passions take us places we never dreamed of going.