Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Why I march...

Or should I say marched? While I am moving to a new school (one without a marching band) I will never forget the times spent on the football field with over 100 of my peers. I marched in the Stratford Bands for 2 years and have learned so much in such a relatively short time.

Those 100+ peers I mentioned? Yeah, I knew all of their names and faces- and was able to match the right face to the right name for the most part. We were all odd, quirky, and downright crazy at times. Particularly on the bus or during a rainy-day indoor rehearsal. But the laughs weren't really the reason I continued to march with them for a second season.

No, it was about the family. The sense of community. We shed sweat, tears, and the occasional blood, together from July until December. From heated band camp to windy parades. When a band member was hurt, you helped. When a band member was struggling in class, you helped. When a band member needed help piling their hair into their hat, you took joy in knotting their hair into wacky pigtails and other twisted hairstyles. (Sorry boys, but dress code is dress code. No hair on the collars!)

My first season of marching ended with knee surgery after I stepped in a pot hole at our very last parade. My second season started with knee surgery. Because I couldn't march, they put me on the front line with the mallet percussion. Even though I had no CLUE what I was doing, they managed to fit me in and I didn't mess up too bad at competition. And I never once felt left out.

But that's the thing. An organization like band has so many different types of people. Injury-prone persons, tie-died hair persons, geeks, nerds, the works. And the only thing we all have in common is music. But its enough to start. And by the end of the season? We're family. That's why I marched.


top right: Show shirt from 08 season. We made State finals for the 1st time in 6 years!
middle left: Me marching at State my freshman year. The show was Musicology 101

Want to know what it's like to be part of the band? Read Just One of the Guys available on Kindle and other formats now!

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