Friday evening was the village band’s (Verein’s) annual committee meeting. Just like any other organization this one has a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, committee members are large, director, etc. There are active and inactive members, too. The active members are all of the musician players and the inactive are not (currently) musicians. Most of the inactive members were a lot older.
They take this stuff seriously. It’s not just some little community band.
There were speeches — multi-page speeches — given by different people to recognize and award people for years of service. I don’t think they’re allowed to give speeches without at least 2 pages typed up. It must be written into their bylaws.
They recognized the current president (who is not a musician) with a lapel pin (they’re big on the lapel pins to denote how many years you’ve been a part of the Verein), a plaque and a bouquet of flowers. Then, a former director was recognized for his many years of service with a framed plaque. Also, about 6 of the players got their pins for their certain years of being a part of the band.
We stood in silence to recognize the members who had passed away in 2011. They read their names and told how many years they were a part of the Verein.
The director gave a synopsis of concerts so far this year and those that are scheduled for the rest of the year. He introduced all of the new players — me being one of them. I found out Sunday morning that he said he was excited to have a bassoon player and no other Vereins have bassoon players.
AND, there was a newspaper reporter there who took pictures of the people getting awards. Everyone who was in attendance will be noted in the paper. I guess I made it into the local German newspaper! EDIT: One of the band members emailed me a PDF of the newspaper and it mentions me. They are excited to have me, a bassoon player, as there aren’t many bassoon players in this area and no other bands have them.
They talked about how much money they made at the few concerts so far this year. One was a party we hosted for a radio station in our village’s gymnasium. They made little sandwiches and bratwurst to sell, but there weren’t enough people and they had WAAAAY too many rolls. So, the president had the leftover rolls dried and ground up into breadcrumbs. Which she put in small plastic bags with a cute little curly ribbon tie and gave to everyone at the meeting. It was really funny.
These Germans are very serious, but so funny at the same time. The whole meeting was a serious affair, but people kept telling little jokes throughout. I guess that’s the way we do meeting back in the States, too. Serious meeting with an agenda punctuated by humor.
It was a fun time. I didn’t understand much of what they said, but it was good to go and show that I’m a part of the group and committed.
As I was leaving (LOML sent me a few text messages saying that Little E had not stopped crying since I left and that I needed to come home right away) I met the village mayor as I was paying for my Schorle, because the meeting was held in the bar. Of course. The mayor knows our Landlord and knew that we had moved in shortly. He asked how long we would be here. He was surprised that we weren’t military, that we had chosen to move to Germany on our own.
Visited village bar :: check
Went to annual band meeting :: check
Given breadcrumbs as gift :: check
Met the village mayor :: check
Made it in the region newspaper :: check