Play the Right Way

For the past almost seven years, I’ve had the opportunity to play second trombone in The Coastal Brass Choir. For the past three years, I’ve been privileged to lead the group as the “interim” director. “Interim” seems to be fading more and more as time goes by, but it is still very enjoyable to lead and play. We have been working on some music for an upcoming outdoor concert that will take place in just a few days. When putting together an order for a concert, careful consideration of placement of each piece in that order must be taken. Many times, a simple chronological order of when each piece was composed can be used. But, there are certain pieces that are more demanding due to the range of notes and putting two of those back to back can be very taxing. Therefore, that chronological approach will not work. Another thing that can influence the placement of selections is the audience’s familiarity with certain songs and those pieces can be spread throughout the concert to make a more enjoyable experience. Once an order is established, it is rehearsed that way to make sure it is logical, feels right, and doesn’t wear out our lips too soon. We had rehearsed the songs in this concert order a few weeks when someone suggested we rehearse them in reverse order. I thought that was an interesting idea, so we did just that at our last rehearsal. As we completed the entire order, we came to our warm-up song. Since we didn’t start at the beginning, we didn’t play it first. And, since we didn’t need to warm up, we decided to actually play this song backward. Yes, we started at the end and played it to the beginning. This was definitely a challenge and after accomplishing the feet, we decided to never do that again.


When composing a piece of music, there is logical phrasing that is followed. That is determined by the composer, and however strange it may be due to the style, that phrasing will usually make sense to the ear of the listener and player. There is a basic order that can be followed. There is a beginning that leads to an end. But when played in reverse order, that sense of phrasing is totally lost. It’s like trying to read this sentence backwards. Sdrawkcab ecnetnes siht daer ot gniyrt ekil s’ti. It just doesn’t work. And although we played it correctly (in reverse) with the notes being in the correct key and in the correct timing, the original melody and chord progression could never be heard. Nor could it even be recognized as that piece of music. One of our members, who has read several of my articles, suggested that I write this experience into a “REED” This article. (For the sake of anonymity, let’s just call him Mickey.) So, I decided to try.


God has put things in a logical order. He created the world and then He created mankind. He gave mankind all that they needed – food, a place to live, responsibility, and companionship with Him and each other. Yet, man disobeyed the only command he was given and caused death to come into the world. But God still loved man so much, that He sent a Savior, His only Son, to come and die that death for man so that man’s relationship with God could be restored. And when each person in mankind does that, there is a logical order that is followed. But, when a person decides not to accept the gift of life that God has provided, there is disruption to that order. The salvation of that person cannot take place. The blessings God has for that person cannot be received by that person because the relationship has not been restored. Death becomes that person’s end and if that person never accepts the gift of Jesus, that end becomes the beginning of forever being separated from God. That is total chaos and suffering that God doesn’t want anyone to endure. But, He won’t force anyone to do anything His way. He only composes it for man to play it His way, if man so chooses. If man does choose to live God’s way, it will be beautiful, and life will make sense. If man chooses not to live God’s way, life will be meaningless and not be beautiful as God had designed, and it will not end well.


There’s only one composition God has given us. It must be followed note by note. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Thankfully, it’s a simple composition.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16


Bro. Paul Reed


Tuesday, March 2, 2021