With pride, I call myself a band geek
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Story by Eileen Saltman | Guest Opinion
Photos by Kierstin Brown | Media Editor
January 15, 2013
With pride, I call myself a band geek.
When I first joined marching band in ninth grade, I intended to do it for a year or two. For a variety of reasons, I didn’t want to commit to the program for four long years. My plan was to participate just long enough to secure the PE (and increasingly important extracurricular credits) then leave band to focus on my academics.
But this all changed during my first year of band.
Quickly, band became a second family–and the band room, a second home. Every day, I sat through some dull, arduous fifth period class waiting until I would head down to the band field for practice.
Marching band soon found many ways to infiltrate my life. I began walking down the halls at school in step to a song stuck in my head. I started walking at an eight-to-five stride (eight steps for every five yards). Christmas parade music, show music, and pep band songs played on loop in my mind all day.
There’s something about band that makes it really addictive. Maybe it’s all the stretching we do, or running in a block, breathing in unison. Or marching backwards in four inches of mud at 168 beats per minute (really fast). Or maybe it’s the friendships I have made. Or all the memories from competitions.
When you really think about it though, marching band is a rather obscure activity. 60 people in shiny jackets and black overalls running around a football field blowing into or hitting an instrument for ten minutes. And then there’s that one person flapping their arms around on a podium until the music stops.
I could not be happier with how the season went, but I am sad it’s over.
Band has been my life for four years, it has been something to look forward to, something to compensate for a lack of a social life. If I could go back to freshman-Eileen and give her some advice, I’d tell her to not take any moment of band for granted.
Not even when practice became painful or when marching the same set multiple times in a row became frustrating. I may be able to control the timing of the music we play, but I have no control over how quickly these four years have gone by.
The DP Band has come a long way from last year’s 22nd place.
We have battled budget cuts and a lack of funding, bad weather, and a broken equipment truck.
This season, for the first time we competed at two competitions in one day, a major feat, and placed at both.
Out of the four competitions we went to, we placed first at three of them, and third at one.
This year, we became more motivated as we realized how precious band was to us.
Impending budget cuts that threatened to to turn marching band into just a pep band provided momentum for helpful parents to coalesce and organize fundraisers to help the band become successful.
I am genuinely excited to see how the band will do next year.