About a year ago, I saw an ad in the local community-college newspaper asking folks to join the community band. I played trumpet
all through junior high and high school—we're talking pep band, jazz band ... I was a band geek extraordinaire. I was interested
in participating, but I was worried that I'd lost my touch. I had played my horn only a couple of times a year at the most
since high school—and that was a bit over a decade ago.
Can you spot the veterinarian? Here's a hint: She plays the trumpet. Don't know a trumpet from a tuba? She's the blonde in
the black dress.
After several weeks of practicing, I swallowed hard and went to the first rehearsal. The group was almost all high school
and college students. I felt out of place at first. I kept my mouth shut and wore jeans and a T-shirt (my camouflage), and
I didn't tell anyone what I did outside of band unless they asked. It was nice to be thought of as a musician—even a mediocre
one—and not a veterinarian. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but sometimes it's nice to wear a different hat.
I've participated in community band for four semesters now and plan to start my fifth semester this fall. Some of the other
band members now know I'm a veterinarian, and they ask me questions about their pets sometimes, but I don't mind. And I'm
honored to have our band director as a client.
I'll likely stay in the band for a while. I've thought occasionally about quitting, mostly when we're busy at work and I'm
too tired to go to rehearsal. But I need the creative outlet and it fits into my schedule nicely. With only one two-hour session
a week, I hardly ever miss it. Besides, because of the performances, I get to wear formal attire twice a year—which is two
times more than I used to.
—Nicole Martin, DVM
Southern Veterinary Hospital; Whiteville, N.C.