Last weekend I went with my dad to the Kansas Music Educator’s Association (KMEA) Convention in Wichita. This meant that I went to a ton of concerts, all of them very good.

But during the quiet songs, there was a different kind of music that could be heard from the audience.

So, there is a song that I would like to write. It would be called “The Sound of Silence.” Yes, I am aware that there already is a song with that same title, but I think it fits the theme.

The piece could be performed by any group, whether instrumental or choral, and would be extremely easy for them to learn and perform.

Here is a description of how the arrangement would go:

First, the conductor walks out onto the stage. He looks kind of like a tall penguin, but that is beside the point.

The conductor takes his place in front of the orchestra-band, choir or other group of your choice- taps his baton a few times on the stand, just for effect, and raises his hands above his head, indicating that you had better be paying attention.

Then, with swift movement, he brings his hands down, indicating for the music to start. And does it start!

At the first beat of the song, the introduction begins, with a rousing chorus of coughs and sniffles. The tempo, moving along at a rapid pace, has not lost the quickly gurgling noises protruding from the crowd.

The overture continues strongly, with all sputtering wildly. Coughs of every illness ever known to man ring loudly through the concert hall. The overture is brought to a triumphant close with a tympani roll of a clearing throat, somewhere in the back of the room. And the room falls silent.

The suite begins with the first movement of light, staccato sneezes. The sounds of someone blowing his nose sings sweetly through the air. The hacking bass cough is not far behind. And then, a new part enters the composition. The soprano whines of a young child-preferably an infant-take the melody and carry it for a large portion of the medley.

This part of the piece comes to a close with the crinkling of program pages being flipped back and forth.

The second movement is much slower and more harmonious than the first. It opens with the legato squish, squish of wet rubber shoes walking across an uncarpeted floor. The ballad-like section continues with the creaking seats of people crossing and uncrossing their legs.

Eyes begin to droop as the slow, beautiful sound of tinkling car keys makes its way to everyone’s ears, and a deep baritone snore comes from the far back corner of the room.

The movement closes to the reprise of crackling programs.

An interlude of more coughing and sniffling fills the gap between the second and final movement of the piece. It is brought to an end with someone blowing her nose.

The third-and last-movement opens with a startlingly loud sneeze, and the tempo quickly picks up in a march-like 4/4 time. The dynamics are well over forte, and a long scale of a wailing child perks all ears to the exciting music.

A fast cadence begins as an open bowl of dry Cheerios hits the floor, its scattered contents tapping against the hard tiling. A round of tenor-like phlegm-hacking begins, followed by a few more rounds of screaming kids.

The final movement comes to an end with the high-pitched squeal of a someone giving a final shot at blowing noses, which is, of course, followed by the reprise of crackling paper.

And now, the finale!

It opens with the loud stomping of feet going up to the balcony. Various phrases from an earlier movement in the song can now be heard in an exciting reprise. Coughs, gargling, sneezes, and spilling Cheerios thunder through the walls, nearly lifting the roof off the building!

Just when it seems like the music can’t get any louder, someone’s cell phone begins ringing, its ring tone being set to the most annoying tune ever to reach out of the depths of that great orchestra pit of the underworld.

As quickly as it had begun, the finale ends, the sounds of music still resonating off of the walls.

A thunderous round of applause fills the room, with a standing ovation, asking for just a little more performance.

The encore begins.

The encore is much like the finale, only much louder, faster and complicated. Each part blaring at the same time, yet the harmony fits together perfectly.

And when all else finally stops, a sudden cough is followed by a flatulated earrrrrrrp echoing through the concert hall. The encore is brought to its close with a final, embarrassed whisper, “Oh my….”

* * *

UFO: Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.

Don’t ask why!

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