A few months ago I received a message from a former UNI (Iowa) classmate of mine named Michael Conrad. He is the current Graduate Jazz Teaching Assistant at UNC (Colorado)...which is one of the schools I attended in my undergraduate studies. He had asked me to sub for the horn player in the UNC Jazz group he works with.
At first I was a bit hesitant, but remembered how much I loved playing his compositions in my undergrad. Since then he's gone on to win numerous awards for his compositions. I informed him that I still was coping with dystonia and could play as long as it wasn't anything too crazy. He sent me PDF's of all the music to check and I told him it all looked doable, so I went ahead and took a huge step/leap of faith and drove up to Greeley to rehearse with them.
I have to say it was one of the best experiences and decisions I've made this year! I was both excited and scared. But if anything, it proved that I have come a long ways with my embouchure dystonia, and that I must not ever give up. Right around the same time I received the news that I was selected as a participant in a research study on FTSED. Going to this rehearsal made me even more ecstatic for the upcoming research.
I'm grateful to Michael for thinking of me even though I had not played the horn in a group since 2010, and for putting so much trust in my playing...even if it was just a rehearsal...I wanted to put my best foot forward. I also was very happy to see a former classmate at a former school I attended...it brought up a lot of memories and nostalgia from my horn playing days. Which is always an amazing feeling to remember!