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Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, and EWF

Published: 2019-02-07 04:44

One Band One Sound!

As I begin to embark on practicing for the 13th Annual Yough Alumni Jazz Band Concert, I can’t help thinking about the various parts of our band that come together in order to make amazing music.  While most of us are not professional musicians, this one or two month window when we come together each year allows us to relive our glory, and once again have fun on stage as we blend our own unique sounds for the greater good of our ultimate sound.  The end result is an amazing life-long comradery and a harmonious sound that we produce for the enjoyment of our audience.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of hard work, but we have fun too!  Most of us were fairly accomplished musicians at one time.  Some have kept playing over the years, but many of us only brush the dust off of our horns in time for our first practice.  Yet, there is a pride that we all have in performing to the best of our abilities.  Pride in living up to our former-selves, yet with a dash of humility that understands that this is not a solo project, but a group effort to make beautiful music.

Instrument of Choice…

We have had as many as five trumpets playing in any given year.  This year, there will only be three of us.  But all of us are former first-chair/lead trumpet/section leaders.  We each have our own instrument of choice and preferred mouthpiece that leads to our unique sound.  I take pride in my silver-plated Bach Stradivarius, which was a gift from my parents for my fifteenth birthday.  At that point, I had been playing piano for eight years and trumpet for seven years and was considering a career in music.  Needless to say, my career and life took a different direction!  Over the years, as my embouchure has matured, my choice of mouthpiece has evolved.  I now prefer a gold-plated Bach Megatone 1 1/2 B mouthpiece for its rich tones and ease of play throughout the entire register.

Coming Full Circle…

In my last post, I touched on Mark Sanborn’s four basic Fred Principles.  Since then, I was honored that Mark had reposted my blog on his twitter feed and had sent me an autographed copy of his follow-up book entitled, Fred 2.0; New Ideas On How To Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results.  As I began to read this book, I was touched by a quote at the beginning of the first chapter.  This quote, which is from the Greek philosopher Epictetus, is relevant to our jazz band, as well as to our organization.  The quote is this:  We all carry the seeds of greatness in us, but we need an image as a point of focus in order that they may sprout.

What image holds you to a higher sense of accountability?  What passion will fertilize your seeds and cultivate the greatness that is waiting to be unleashed within you?  Will you embrace that greatness and make beautiful music as part of a team?  I believe that it’s our trust in each other and our ability to humbly work together that allows the whole of the team to be greater than the sum of its parts.

One Team, One Goal!

As we embark on 2019, our team at Essity Health and Medical Solutions is devoted to be one band with one sound, or more aptly stated…one team with one goal.  We are breaking down the silos between long-term care, homecare, and medical in order to provide the ultimate and seamless experience for each customer.  As individuals in the field, this isn’t always easy because we are competitive by nature and have been conditioned over the years to see our individual contributions as the most important.

But, when we step back and work together towards the greater good of the customer and of the company, a little humility and teamwork will allow our seeds of greatness to sprout.  The fruits of this teamwork will far outweigh anything that would be accomplished on our own.  Together, we will create a symphony of beautiful music that will satiate the hearts of our customers and fulfill each of our potential for greatness.

And, the band played on…

https://youtu.be/ZnAnGsrv4dU

 

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Joe Kralik

National Key Account Director US HMS - Government

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Like many people today, I have had many forks in the road of my professional and educational journeys. I have two B.S. degrees, one in Industrial Safety Management and the other in eBusiness. I also have an MBA in Management and am currently studying to be a deacon in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. Along the way, I was a Food Service Director, trained as an Air Traffic Controller, was a volunteer firefighter/EMT for about ten years, and eventually found my home in healthcare business development with Essity. Last, but not least, my bride and I have been married for a little over eight years. We met playing softball (I played shortstop and she played second) and were known as the best double-play combination in the CAC.

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