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‘Too Little Time’ at the Glenn Miller Festival

Marcus Reynolds with Glenn's Trombone

It's not everyday that the phone rings and the voice the other end says, "Our 1st trombonist Jack Rowly can't do Clarinda this year as his wife is too ill to travel, would you like to go in his place? 1-2-3-4 seconds later I said, " Yes, I'd love to go".

You readers may be wondering where Clarinda is but all Glenn Miller fans will know exactly. Clarinda, is the birth place of the most famous bandleader ever, Glenn Miller, yes folks I was being asked by the famous Dutch bandleader Bill Baker to play at the Glenn Miller Festival in Iowa USA

In recent years Big Band Buddies magazine has written several articles about my career which was cut short a few years back when I fell off the back of a stage when playing lead, and as I hit the ground my trombone

smashed into my mouth. When I came around in the hospital I knew my career was over.

After an operation and with a determination to play again I went back to basics attempting to play my trombone again, but it took me a long time to just find five notes and this allowed me to play tunes like 'Teddy Bears Picnic' and other nursery rhymes buskin, at least it was a start for me to earn some money again.

It has taken me many years to arrive back with the confidence to once again stand as lead trombonist, which I have done now for a year or two as well as MD to several local bands.

Big Band Buddies has made it possible for me to make contact with some very important people in my life as you will have read about, but recently the call from Bill Baker would turn out to be one fantastic adventure, and one that took an amazing twist and had me in front of the stage in Clarinda wondering how I came to be playing with probably the most valuable trombone in the world.

It is now three weeks since that phone call and I find myself packing to go to Rijwijk in Holland where I was to meet up with Bill Baker to do my first rehearsal with his band. During this rehearsal I met up with Jack Rowley the man I was to replace on this trip to the States, who said that he was sad not to be going but wished me luck and after hearing me play said that he thought his chair was in good hands, for which I thanked him. My fellow sliders were Arjan Van Zuuk, Eric Dekkers and Bram Monnier.

Bill had planned that I would play a very special solo at the end of the second set. This worried me because of the amount of playing I had to do through the concert and then to finish off with an important trombone solo, so I practiced this piece many times before we left for Holland but wondered if after a full session on the day I would get through it and not let everyone down.

On Monday 8th of June we left for the USA with loaded trailer and taxi and we were off to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. Our first stop would be Minneapolis USA, then on to Kansas City, (minus 1 suitcase) then on a bus for the final part of the journey to Clarinda, nearly 21 hours travelling and we were all exhausted by the time we arrived.

We pulled in to Clarinda High school where our host Ron & Ammo McCunne and their Daughter Kristine picked us up and took us to our accommodation, which had been arranged by the Glenn Miller Birth Place Society. We shared the accommodation with Abram Klop (Tpt) Bram Monnier (tbn) Bert Reuyl ( Trp) and his wife Nicole.









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