I was a trombone major in college with my sights on a symphonic career; but rhythm sections players were the only ones working all the time--and besides, I got tired of counting rests.
Funny how musical careers can change. Like most boys, I wanted to play trumpet in school. I started with it and two years later the band director came by the classroom one day and asked me to follow him. We went back to the band room - just us two - and as polite as possible he told me I was a lousy trumpet player. But he said I had impeccable timing and a sense for music and said he thought I'd be better at clarinet. He then put a clarinet in my hands and started teaching me - one on one - for the next couple of weeks. I took to it like a duck on water and within a year was sitting as a first clarinet. A year later I was in the first chair and kept it for 5 years. The youngest ever to do so at our school.
Classical music has always been a love of mine. Whenever I hear it on a ship, I have to stop and listen and thank the wonderful musicians who played it.