How do we know what to expect if we stay in the classical music field? We typically start as children, drawn to an instrument because a program needed more trumpets or because our dad played the cello, or because we like the sound of the flute. At some point, we discover we enjoy some aspect of it--or an authority figure mandates we stick with it. For whatever reason, we decide we want to major in music in college. Then, we run the gauntlet of music school, picking up gigs along the way. Now, we have to figure out a job. Orchestra jobs are tough to win. Military specialty bands are tough to win. Regular military band jobs are easier to win, but they involve dramatic changes in one’s lifestyle. We’re face with all sorts of tough choices. “What can we expect?” depends on asking ourselves what we want out of the field--and what we want to invest into it. We can’t know what will happen. Maybe we win a job, maybe we start an ensemble, maybe we leave the field. But we will never know until we get there--and maybe not until after the fact. We can enjoy the journey with all its problems, heartache, and high points--and perhaps only expect a journey.