You have heard the typical stereotype of people involved in band as “band geeks” and I am quite proud of falling into one of those groups.
I have been involved in marching band since ninth grade and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have met some of the best people I know through my band experience that I would not have otherwise known; from band directors to band members. The stage of high school includes being judged for who you are, who you hang out with, and for your actions. It is always important to find an outlet for yourself that makes the four years go by smoothly and for myself, that outlet was marching band. I went to band class excited to be with the people I enjoy being around the most and practicing a show that took teamwork and dedication. I was able to be who I was without the fear of having to be fake or people not liking who I was.
Eventually, high school came to an end and that meant that band could have potentially been a past hobby. At the time, I could not imagine my last halftime show and the last time I put on my uniform to march under those Friday night lights. After much thought, I realized that I did not have to think about that day quite yet because I decided to continue my passion throughout my years in college. I decided that whatever college I chose to attend, they would have a band and I would be a member. Eventually I let the band decide on which college I would attend, and I do not regret that decision one bit. It just so happened that being a member of The Pride of West Virginia was a longtime dream of mine and I became determined to achieve it. One of my favorite memories was opening the letter that made my dream a reality. Being accepted into the band of my dreams came with choosing West Virginia University and Morgantown as my new home.
According to Why Music? Why Band? By Tim Lautzenheiser band requires its members to behave in ethical manners, teaches how to work with others, realize the beauty of learning, promotes self-discipline, extends understanding, and also helps the members have meaning – music is the reason, music is the reward, music is the substance, music is the payoff. (Lautzenheiser 2010) As a band member, I can assure you that being a member of a marching band gives you these lifelong skills and it helps mold you into a successful member of society. So why not continue to be a part of something that is not only entertaining for everyone, but also beneficial to you personally and those around you. This is just part of the reason I was very determined to achieve my goal of being involved with band in college.
Something that comes with being in a marching band is getting to see what other bands can do. It is always a fun experience to meet other band members and to watch what they put in hours of practice on perfecting. There is always a close bond with other band members even if you have never met them before because you know what they are doing and you understand their love for the music and halftime shows. College bands are typically larger than high school bands and it can be challenging to be a new member of the band, but once you get there you quickly realize that band people are friendly and welcoming and that you will have no problem making friends.
Being involved with the band in college helped me make new friends in my first year which I believe to last a lifetime. I spent most of my time with the same people and that never got old. In fact, I could not imagine not doing it again. I am ready to experience four more seasons with my people; I would spend four days a week for the rest of my life with these people if I was given the chance. Being involved in the band in college allows you to be a part of something bigger than yourself, gives you the chance to feel the real magic of being in something so large, and introduces you to the best people around – band people.