Battle of the band very intriguing

Apparently, woodwinds and brass don’t get along?

I’m Not 100 percent sure on this – it’s news the Sassy Saint brought me from band camp. I thought all the band kids got along, sometimes spontaneously breaking out into mysteriously choreographed song-and-dance. It’s what Disney movies would have me believe, anyway.

Not Sassy’s band. There’s a deep and abiding enmity between the woodwinds and the brass. I’m not sure what caused it. The reasons for it are lost in the misty depths of time.

“It might be because the brass section is so loud and the woodwinds are so quiet,” opinined Sassy, new to the rivalry and more than a little bewildered. “Or maybe they just both want to be the honor unit.”

I’m not sure they care about the reason. In the tradition of all good feuds, like the Capulets and the Montagues, the Sharks and the Jets and the Hatfields and McCoys, it doesn’t matter what the other side did. It only matters they exist.

Whatever the reason, neither refuses to bend.

“All the other brass told me we can’t lose to the woodwinds or we will never hear the end of it,” said Sass of the competition for honor unit.

Never mind that there are two other units in the band.

On one side, we have the brass, led by Not-So-Secretly Fabulous Nick, he of the immovable hair, and on the other, we have the woodwinds, led by That-Kid-I-Keep-Calling-Ethan. Only his name isn’t Ethan. It isn’t my fault, Sass led me astray. She keeps calling him Ethan, because, as she says, “he looks like Ethan and he’s a senior, too.” Perfectly understandable, only, who’s Ethan?

I’m not sure where all the drummers and the silks fall in this rivalry. They’re probably the citizens of Verona and wish everyone else would just settle down. Although I am told the drummers are vastly important for “staying on beat.” Not sure what that is; this is one of those weird areas where my child knows more than I do.

Luckily for us, when the Little Professor auditioned for band, he was assigned a trombone, thus falling into brass. I wanted him to play the saxophone, envisioning a cute little jazz duo, but Sass told me saxophones are woodwinds in disguise. Perish the thought – it would be like having one child siding with the Union and the other with the Confederacy.

Sass has been trying to play peace-maker, seeing that she can’t stand for people to be unkind to one another. If it was up to her, every public meeting would end in a chorus of “Kumbayah” and a hugfest.

She hasn’t had much success with it as demonstrated by the notorious water balloon battle between the two units near the end of camp. I’m not sure how many perfectly innocent silks – frontline, maybe? when I was in high school, we called them silks – and drummers were caught in the crossfire.

I do know who the first casualty was – my peace-loving Sass.

Poor Sass, she thought she was Prince Escalus, but she ended up being Mercutio, instead.

(Wallace-Minger, a Weirton resident, is community editor of The Weirton Daily Times and can be reached at