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Real Instruments for Real Musicians

Friday, December 19, 2008

Red Dots...

Here we sit in El Portal, CA, on a snowy sub-freezing night. The kids are sleeping on the floor between the cozy woodstove and the Christmas Tree (actually a 10-year old Manzanita branch that we use each year...). Karen is knitting on the couch beside me, and I am smiling about the Red Dots.

I never thought about how much I'd enjoy the Red Dots, but there they are... popping up across the globe on the YMB site's "Cluster Maps." It is so amazing to think about friends and family, around the world, logging in to view our silly YMB film. Poof! There's a dot in Bangalore! That one must be Sweety's family in New Delhi.... Dominican Republic? That's gotta be Leslie & Vic! Then up pops Maui Mark way out in the middle of the Pacific, and someone in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Has to be Apene, who Paul used to lead trips with in Mali. When he returns home, we might see a red dot appear in Bamako. Hugh and Mara are spreading the humor all around Nanjing, Jiangyin, and Shanghai.... they are giving Tuba lessons in China for a month-long exchange program, and producing a BIG dot in Jiangsu province. Dot dot dot all over the US and up into Alaska.... Hello Everyone!!!!

Red Dots. Pretty cool. Makes us feel connected to many loved ones far and near. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Happy Holidays! Savor the Solstice!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The New YMB Film...

Finally it's been uploaded... After a couple of years of languishing on the shelf, the "Yosemite Marching Band - Part 2" is now available for your viewing pleasure! Access it here on this blog, or go to YouTube - It's about 6 minutes long, and is a smorgasbord of the silliest YMB antics over the last few years!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Being charter members of the High Altitude Marching Band Association, Region Five (H.A.M.B.A.R.F), poses its own set of acoustic challenges for the YMB. We have to maintain our instruments in top-notch condition, strictly adhere to our rigorous physical training regimen, and fill out countless accounting forms and travel vouchers for the award ceremonies and HAMBARF gatherings that we attend annually.

Of course, we rarely travel outside Region Five, which encompasses the mountain regions of the High Sierra, Cascades, Rocky Mountains, and the Brooks and Alaska Range. Someday we hope to join up with members of HAMBART (region 2) down south in the Andes, or perhaps go for the big Himalayan prizes available in Region 8 under the watchful eye of HAMBARE. We'd probably have to get back on eBay for some heavily insulated band uniforms... or borrow a few yak-fur cloaks and yellow wool hats from the HAMBARE members.

Hopefully we can get their complex and intricate high-altitude choreography translated from the Tibetan... Tashi delay!

The Early Days

The Yosemite Marching Band started up, oh, a couple a years ago. We'd explored a lot of Yosemite, and we'd hiked and climbed and seen most of what Yosemite had to offer. But we were looking for something different.... something unique.... you might say, an "Acoustic Challenge." But, not being musicians posed a bit of a problem for an aspiring Marching Band. We had to find instruments...