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Autism Brings a New Beginning

Travis Breeding

Published by Travis Breeding at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 Travis Breeding

All Rights Reserved



Contents



Autism Brings a New Beginning

About the Author



Autism Brings a New Beginning



It was finally here. Senior year. I was ready to move on with my life. I began the year with lots of excitement and high hopes of being successful both in the music world as well as in the social world. I would continue to try and develop peer relationships with other students and would again struggle in this area. As you may be noticing, struggling with peer relationships is something that would be a struggle for me over and over again. It wouldn’t be something that would just naturally go away on its own. There was a great reason for this but I didn’t know why that was at the time.

Marching band would start out with a high note as I had quickly learned that the band directors had decided on a show called “Kipawatissmo” for my senior year. In this show there were three movements and two of them were arranged to start with trombone solos. The middle movement or “ballad” had a baritone solo in the middle of it. It was very lyrical and smooth so it would be something that would be much more difficult to play on a trombone. I really enjoyed the music to the show; I just wish we could have had a more talented group to perform it at times. Not so much a more talented group but a more determined and dedicated group that would be more interested in performing the music to the best of their ability. Again, I was a musician who even in high school, wanted to be a professional musician and perform at a professional level of play.

I would begin preparing for my Indiana University School of Music audition the previous summer. I would start preparing one of my all time favorite trombone solos. A piece called “Concertino for Trombone” by David Fairdinando. This is probably one of the more challenging trombone solo’s out there on the market. It’s a very demanding piece technically but also a very demanding lyrical piece.

When I first heard a gentleman by the name of Christian Linburg playing this piece I quickly fell in love with it.

Christian Linburg is one of the more famous professional trombonists in the world. He’s put out several recordings of trombone solo performances. He has one of the most lyrical trombone voices of anyone that I’ve heard play in my life. Christian Linbug’s rendition of Concertino #4 would be an inspirational piece for me. It motivated me because I wanted to play it just as good as he did if not better. I was always motivated by playing with or competing with excellent trombonist.

Frustrations and almost dropping out of high school marching band

It was the middle to end of September and I became really frustrated with the other kid’s in marching band because they didn’t seem to take being there seriously. As I’ve stated before, the previous three years bothered me but this year would bother me more so than the others.

Eventually I would get to a point to where I wanted to just drop out and get out of there because it felt like a huge waste of time. I could be spending my time on my personal practice or even studying rather than having to waste five minutes every time the directors would ask the students to be quiet before we could start playing or marching. I managed to stick it out and put up with all of the frustrations and finish out the season and I’m glad I did because I love marching band.

We would eventually make it through that marching season with a gold rating at the ISSMA District Contest and then receiving a Silver rating at the ISSMA Regional competition in October of 2003. I was disappointed with the final result as it was always my dream to march on the RCA dome floor in Indianapolis, IN. Unfortunately that dream never came true and now it has no chance of ever coming through because the stadium has been torn down and the Indianapolis Colts now play at Lucas Oil stadium.

I would begin preparing for my Indiana University School of Music audition the previous summer. I would start preparing one of my all time favorite trombone solos. A piece called “Concertino for Trombone” by David Fairdinando. This is probably one of the more challenging trombone solo’s out there on the market. It’s a very demanding piece technically but also a very demanding lyrical piece.

When I first heard a gentleman by the name of Christian Linburg playing this piece I quickly fell in love with it. Christian Linburg is one of the more famous professional trombonists in the world. He’s put out several recordings of trombone solo performances. He has one of the most lyrical trombone voices of anyone that I’ve heard play in my life. Christian Linbug’s rendition of Concertino #4 would be an inspirational piece for me. It motivated me because I wanted to play it just as good as he did if not better. I was always motivated by playing with or competing with excellent trombonist.

I would take that piece to that state ISSMA Solo & Ensemble competition in late January of 2004. I would receive a perfect score at the contest both at district and at state. This was something that was very commendable as most students don’t receive perfect scores at the state level. I was proud of myself for achieving this feat and it motivated me even more for my audition that would be coming up just to weekends later.

This was a busy time of year for me as I was balancing all of the solo & ensemble contest along with Varsity Singers show choir competitions and of course preparing for the biggest day of my life.

Meanwhile I was still balancing the work schedule back at Ponderosa. This was becoming more complicated as there was starting to be some trouble with the general manager at Ponderosa. He was one of my favorite people there. However, somehow he’d get himself into a messy situation and eventually get fired from the company. They brought in another manager who would eventually take his place. At first I wasn’t a fan of this manager and struggled with the transition.

I would say like most things in life for someone dealing with Asperger’s or Autism changing out of a routine can be a very difficult thing to do. Therefore when this new manager came in and had new ideas and new procedures I was a little confused as to how to react to them. The change seemed to go okay with only a few minor speed bumps but I would say it was a struggle. I think maybe the other employee’s adapted to change much easier than I.

Meanwhile back at school I was having a hard time with some higher level math classes and didn’t really seem to be able to focus too much on homework or trying. I think with everything else going on homework was the last thing I had on my mind. I mean there was preparing for the IU audition, marching band, varsity singers, jazz band, and of course work. I was also trying to play in the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony at the time as well as taking private lessons from the principal trombonist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Needless to say I didn’t really have much time for a social life therefore I think my senior year may have been a little easier on me as far as being depressed as I wouldn’t allow myself time to get down in the dumps over my lack of ability of developing friendships with the other kids.

The Days Leading Up to the IU School of Music Audition

In the final days leading up to the Indiana University School of Music audition I would not only become very focused on the outcome and goal that I had in mind but I’d also become very anxious about it. I had never had a problem with becoming anxious before playing in front of anyone in my life but for some reason this time it was different. Of course this was the biggest performance I’d ever been a part of in my lifetime up to that point. I was playing a trombone solo in front of three very respected trombonists who are on faculty at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Professors Peter Elefison, Dee Stewart, and Carl Lenthe would all be listening to me and critiquing my playing. I was extremely nervous and excited all at the same time. Luckily for me I did so much ensemble playing while in high school that I didn’t have to worry about being in shape or not. My chops were golden. Of course, if one’s going to be auditioning to the IU School of Music they had better not have to worry about their chops not being ready for the performance.

In the final days I was extremely busy as it was getting close to Varsity Singer’s competition season. This was an intense time for the show choir as during the final week of preparation for competition season we would often have rehearsals every night. It was our last chance to polish up the show before we took it out on the road to compete with other schools.

I remember in the final week heading into the competition season I had a scheduling conflict. I probably tended to get myself involved in too many ensembles as I would often have conflicts and have to pick and choose which ones I should attend. This was obviously creating a huge organization problem that I didn’t like dealing with. As those of you on the spectrum know keeping things organized can be a difficult task for us. For some reason or the other we just aren’t too good at balancing things.

So that February evening where I had a conflict was a night in which the Varsity Singers had an evening rehearsal scheduled from 6pm-9pm. Meanwhile, the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony also had an evening rehearsal scheduled from 5:15pm-7:45pm. With Fort Wayne being about forty-five minutes away from Huntington, where I lived this would make for an interesting controversy. Somehow I had to be in two places at one time. Well I ended up splitting the time. I would go to the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony rehearsal but leave at 6:15pm. Then I jumped on the freeway and drove about eighty or ninety miles per hour to get back to Huntington North High School on time to rehearse with the Varsity Singers. Without even having time to eat or relax in between, I would get out my instrument and be ready to play the show choir show.

That particular evening we had a guest clinician who would often come in and work with the choir and back up band. They had run the show once without me being there and I remember as I was walking in the clinician accused the band of not being loud enough. Well, I was someone that was often known for my ability to play really loud. Let’s just say, I have a good set of lungs on me and I can push amazing amounts of air through the horn. Well when I get there and we ran through the show a second time, all of the sudden he said that the band was too loud. This was usually a good thing to hear although I’ll admit there can be times when playing too loud is not necessarily appropriate.

For someone who didn’t have very much success in anything other than music in his life, just getting any kind of a compliment at all would make me put a beaming smile on my face. Even if it was at something that I already knew I was good at I would still like it when someone would take notice and compliment me for a job well done. This was something that I think was able to help get me through high school. Without this I just wouldn’t have had anything successful going on in my life. You might say that I used music as a tool of making myself not only feel better but as a sense of acceptance. I was accepted by others through my music and not for my socializing.


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