Here's The Story
My junior and senior years in high school I was the TA for the band director. He also taught all the instruments. Mr. Akers had at one time been the premier arranger of marches and patriotic tunes for band for the Filmore Music company, which in turn was the foremost publisher of that genre. Prior to that he was a trombone player in a big name circus band. From his disheveled appearance and his somewhat scattered mind, I guessed (but never asked) that he'd gotten too friendly with Jack Daniels or Johnny Walker or one of that ilk, hit bottom, and finally wound up teaching in the smallest high school in Seattle.
We had two piano rooms in the band room. I heard real pianists in there playing Maleguņa and was impressed, and learned to plunk it out in the half hour or so each day there was nothing to do for Mr. A and the pianos were available.
I don't remember exactly how it happened, but somewhere in there I had a tune in my head, and wanted to score it for band, and I had no clue how to do that. Mr. A taught me how to read and then write a score, and his visualization tool was the piano keyboard.
If I was going to do this project, I needed a piano at home.
My 17th birthday was coming up, I had saved $100 somehow, and convinced Mom to go halves with me. We went down to Sherman Clay downtown, and found this beautiful old Schiller upright for $200.
I wrote my "Processional", it was done i time for my sister's high school graduation. Mr A put it in right after Pomp & Circumcisions, announcing that I had written it, and offering to let me conduct it. But I'm not conductor, so I played French Horn instead.
The Piano stayed in my parents' basement (aka my bedrooom) a long time. When I was visiting I would usually find time to play, over the objections of my sisters. I'm not sure, but I think when I moved to a duplex on Capitol Hill in 1978, I finally hired piano movers to claim it. When my company moved me to Hayward, CA in 1981, the piano came with me, and it has been following me ever since, including a trip back to the Seattle area in 1997 when Microsoft moved me up to Kirkland.
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