With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, September 8th, it made me remember when Queen Elizabeth II came to Bermuda, and our school band played for her.

I lived in Bermuda from 1973 to 1978 and went to Saltus Grammar School for the equivalent of 8th-12th grades. It was an English school, and a little bit of a culture shock when we first went to Bermuda. Think Harry Potter.. We didn't have Gryffindor House, but I was in Butterfield House. We all lined up for morning assemblies and sang "God Save the Queen".

We all had to try out for choir, and sing God Save the Queen. I remember telling Bill Duncan, the music teacher that I didn't know the words. I learned them pretty quickly!

Living in Bermuda we never celebrated the 4th of July. Think about it, why would a British Colony celebrate America's independence? As a matter of fact, we often had school on the 4th of July, as school would be dismissed for the summer around July 10th.

As a member of the Saltus Grammar School band, we had to perform for the Queen in Hamilton, the Capital of Bermuda. We were going to play "The Entertainer" for her. I played tenor saxophone. Right at the beginning of "The Entertainer" there was a tenor saxophone solo. It was maybe a 5 bar solo. The problem was that every time we played it, someone squeaked! Poor Bill Duncan! He would become just crazed screaming at us! It wasn't from a lack of practicing! We practiced that part over and over and over. We would sweat through our shirts in nerves and had total anxiety.

To this day, I can't hear "The Entertainer" without my stomach doing flip flops and remembering back to the pressure I felt as a 13-14 year old.

God Save the Queen! God Save the King!

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