I'm a high school sophomore currently playing in the marching/concert band with a Tenor sax. Due to schedule complications, I was not able to play in the band last year, and the year before that (8th grade) the only music played was various short pieces from a Standards of Exellence book, where everyone had the same part. That last bit is kind of important... before this year, I honestly didn't know how a band was composed. That is, I didn't know that trumpets, flutes, and clarinets would always have the melody, alto saxes would have the counter-melody, and bari saxes would fill out the low brass, which, of course, played the bass line. I omitted the tenor sax because it seems to be in a category all of its own: something I like to call the never-never land between the bass and the countermelody... it's sort of both, but really, it's neither. It rarely has the counter melody and only occasionally has the full bass line. In one song we recently played, the tenor sax part was made up of whole notes, followed by what appeared to be random, spastic notes. Something to the effect of "dah, pause, dah dah, pause pause pause, dee dah dee... etc etc ad nauseum."
This is the band as I have come to understand it. My question is this: is my assesement pretty much correct? Will trumpets always have the melody and altos have the counter-melody? Is the tenor really stuck in never never land?
I truly enjoy the sound made by both instruments, but I really don't like never-never land. So, is it safe to say that tenors will never have the "fun" part? Should I switch?
Hope my questions came out semi-coherent. Gah.