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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Reunion (06/05/08)

TITLE: The Long Set
By Aaron Morrow



Nicko started his soft backbeat


Excitement charged the air. I licked my lips and lifted the trumpet to my mouth. I glanced at Sean, he was anticipating measure twelve as well. We both sat and waited with the cool brass mouthpiece resting against our lower lips.


I took a deep breath…



The sound smashed through the air like an elephant fired from a cannon.

BONG!..Ponk, Peenk, Poink! The shaking had upset the gong behind Nicko, which in turn hand rattled several bones off Zeke’s marimba stand.


All eyes turned to the hulking form near the back of the stage. The tight coils of Shamgar’s huge arms strained at the seams of his daisy-laden t-shirt with the words “Teddy Bear Dreams” emblazoned on it. His tan face went a deep scarlet, and he swung his tousled mop of hair out of the way, revealing a huge, toothy grin.

We turned back in time to see Fred rolling his eyes, “Shamgar…I know that the composition doesn’t include an oxgoad, but we discussed this. Follow the sax line starting on measure sixteen. Capiche?” Shamgar nodded mechanically.

“Okay, let’s start again.” Fred tapped his stick on the top of his spinet.

“…one…two…threEEEEE…” A cacophony of different notes exploded from his piano as he dove down to the keyboard to avoid being pummeled as Dave performed a perfect cartwheel over the top of his head.

Thump! Dave stood in the middle of the stage, feet together and arms upraised in triumph. Chris called out from the guitar and lute section, “And he sticks the landing!” I joined as the entire ensemble erupted in laughter and clapping.

Fred collected himself at the piano, and looked up, as if seeking help.
“Sooo…Dave… are you dancing this time, or singing?” Fred was calm and smiling again, athough his powdered wig was a mess.

“Both!” Dave dropped to the floor in a bunch and began spinning on his back.

Lincoln ripped off a power chord and Matt started singing ”Undignified”.

“Whoa! We’ve moved on, we’ve moved on!” Fred tried yelling over the top Lincoln and Andres as they pounded out dueling guitar solos, which was quite challenging since both had their amp volume set past “10” to the “infinity” marker.

The revelry didn't begin settling down until Steven and Maria danced in graceful loops through the empty orchestra pit in front of the massive stage. Each time they passed by, the ensemble followed their progress with glistening, joy-filled eyes.

Fred turned around again and smiled broadly. “Okay, why don’t we just try a run-through with the vocalists. Dave, why don’t you go and put some clothes on, I think you’re distracting the string section.”

Charlie and Fritz took their violins from their shoulder, looked at each other, and shrugged.

“Okay, then, Martina you want to lead off?”

Martina stepped forward and began singing, softly at first and building:

We are trav’ling in the footsteps
Of those who’ve gone before,
And now we’re all reunited,
On a new…and sunlit shooooooore

As she held the final note, Louis stepped up and began rattling the whole stage with his booming bass:

OOOOH…when the saints…came marching in!

Martina and Dave joined in:

Oh when the saints came marching in!
Lord, I’m glad I was in that number
When the saints came marching in!

Nicko started tapping on his drums and the entire percussion section followed his lead.

Then the Son came back to shine
And then the Son came back to shine

Bedlam broke out as the whole band got washed away in the joy of the number. Johan jumped up on his piano and began a soft shoe; Wiggie ran over, put his arms on each side of Terry and began playing his piano as Terry painted the sky with his harmonica…

Fred yelled “Wait!” The band slowly ground to a halt.

“We need to rehearse! Do you realize how much time we have?”

Everyone on the huge stage glanced around with furtive, puzzled looks.

“Mmm hmm” Someone cleared their throat. Fred wheeled around to the lone figure in the audience.

“You have all eternity” Jesus said from the front row.

Fred took a deep breath, and turned again to the ensemble.

“Ok then, I guess there only one thing to do…HIT IT SHAMGAR!


Author’s notes:

The Ensemble (in order of appearance):
Nicko - Nicko McBrain – Drummer from Iron Maiden
Sean - Sean Jones –Jazz Trumpeter
Zeke - Ezekiel – Old Testament Prophet
Shamgar – Shamgar, son of Anath – Old Testament Judge
Fred - George Frideric Handel – Classical Composer
Dave – David, son of Jesse, Old Testament King
Chris – Chris Tomlin – Worship Pastor
Matt – Matt Redman – Worship Pastor
Lincoln – Lincoln Brewster – Worship Minister
Andres – Andres Segovia, Classical Guitarist
Steven – Steven Curtis Chapman – Worship Minister
Maria – Maria Sue Chapman, daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman
Charlie - Charlie Daniels – Christian Southern Rock Fiddler
Fritz - Fritz Kreiser – Classical Violinist
Martina – Martina McBride – Christian Coutry Artist
Louis – Louis Amstrong – Jazz Musician
Johan – Johan Sebastian Bach – Classical Composer
Wiggie – Ludwig von Beethoven – Classical Composer
Terry – Terry Lee McMIllan – Country Pianist and Harmonicist
Jesus – Christ Jesus – The Reason for the Reunion

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This article has been read 630 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Engle 06/12/08
Wow! I didn't get it at all until the cast of characters at the end. How creative.
LauraLee Shaw06/15/08
What a creative approach to the topic and a sweet tribute to so many. The ending really brought the whole piece together.
Chely Roach06/16/08
Cool take on the topic...when you got to Louie and Martina, I knew what was going on. Great job!
Jan Ackerson 06/16/08
Oh, Aaron--If it were up to me, I'd give this one the #1 spot this week. I was drawn into it, pulled...trying to figure it out...and then when I "got" it, it was exquisite. And THEN to see little Maria Chapman in the "cast list"--I just lost it. Spectacular!
Mariane Holbrook 06/16/08
What a fantastic entry! If you don't place with this one, I'll be a ring-tailed monkey! Super writing! Kudos!
Karen Wilber06/16/08
Wild, wacky fun--with heart. I liked all the musical sounds in this.
Colin Swann06/17/08
Good Job - well done. Thanks
Tessy Fuller06/18/08
*clapping ecstatically and giving a standing ovation* Bravo! I loved this. My favorite this week.
Helen Dowd06/18/08
Very different approach to the topic. My ears were splitting, just listening to the band tuning up and warming up. I wonder if I will be able to play my trumpet again some day--at the great reunion in the sky. I used to play it, once upon a time, but haven't for--well, at least 50 years, and no, I don't want to play it at the REUNION, never was very good. I will enjoy GOOD players...Enjoyable story..Helen
Debbie Wistrom06/18/08
Incredible talent, both the writer and the cast.

I didn't know the name of Chapman's daughter and now I see the brillaince of her dancing with her father-like the song.......

This deserves a spot at the top. I bet Jesus loves it too.
Sara Harricharan 06/18/08
ROFL! This is so funny! And incredibly creative and witty and almost everything! You captured some hilarious moments here and a soft note for when I read "Maria Sue Chapman" that meant a lot to me to see her name there under her Daddy's. What a neat reunion! I loved the punchline of "all eternity." That was just wonderful! Excellent writing! ^_^
Sheri Gordon06/18/08
This is classical. What a masterful piece. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I can't think of the right way to describe this--just amazing. This has me so excited for the wonderful reunion with Jesus--and all of these marvelous people. Excellent, excellent job.
Catrina Bradley 06/18/08
This was three times as much fun the second time through, knowing who the cast of characters were. (My eyes were glistening, too, as Steven and Maria danced past.) Absolutely wonderfully choreographed piece of writing. :)
Lyn Churchyard06/18/08
Oh my, I was fine until I read about Steven and Maria dancing. That was so sad and yet so beautiful. Well done my friend.
Lyn Churchyard06/19/08
Congratulations Aaron on placing 12th in Advanced, and 40th place over all. Well done!!
Tim Pickl07/26/08
As a trumpet player, I can relate and your story made me laugh!
You have a God-given gift!
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