In the fall of 2010, I was a high school freshman, going through my first marching band season. Looking back now, seven years since my first marching season, it turned me into who I am today. If it wasn’t for marching band and the arts, I wouldn’t have found the friends, passions and mentors I have today. As of right now December 30, 2016, I won’t be persuading a career in the arts and will be enlisting in the Air Force, but music and theatre will always be apart of me and my passion. Most people say they hate marching band, but I truly did enjoy marching band, it’s an experience that not many teenagers chose to have. Yes, I will admit I didn’t enjoy every second of it, but I enjoyed it 98% of the time. I still remember my first year of marching band and thinking my last football game half time show, marching band festival, concert, parade and performance in general was so far away, and than in a blink of an eye it was all right in front of me and it was all such a bittersweet moment. I never thought it would have gone as fast as it did, but thinking back now those four years in marching band gave me some of the best memories of high school.
Over the years of playing drums in marching band, I have had directions, drum majors, drum captions, and friends that have impacted my life and not only made me a better musician, but gave life lessons along the way. Over the past eleven years as a drummer, I was teased by band directors and friends, had a drum section and band that was family and made great memories while doing what I loved along the way. Here are just a few of the lessons learned and memories I have from high school marching band (2010-2014):
- I have learned it’s better to be ten minutes early than ten minutes late. “If you are early you are on time, if you are on time your late”. Marching band rehearsals will always start on time, with or without you, but you better be there ready on the field when the band director or drum majors are ready to start rehearsal. Over my years of marching band, I have learned it is better to be early than on time. Two and half years out of marching band and I still am most times early.
- “ One band, one sounds.” Anytime it was movie day or my band director was out we almost every time watched the movie, “Drumline”, but I still don’t think we have ever watched it all the way through. But, my senior year it just became our thing to always say, “One band, one sound”. The one thing I will always remember from that movie is no one person makes a band or is more important, each and every person plays a big role in making the band.
- Being a drummer in marching band was something special to me. Playing with the same five guys for seven years gave us a bond that was unbreakable. We made fun of each other, laughed, had fun, became better musicians together and most importantly have memories together that I will never forget. Being the only girl on the drumline for my class made me feel even prouder to carry my bass drum in every performance. Most people don’t see girls to be on the drumline, especially carrying the bass drum.
- I had the privilege to use the same exact bass drum for marching band for all my four years in the high school marching band from day one of band camp freshman year to my last performance senior year. By the time senior year came along, I had a special connection with my bass drum. Every single football game, parade, marching band festival, and performance I played using the same exact bass drum.Having to put away my bass drum for the last time after our last parade (Memorial Day Parade 2014) in the drum closet is a day I won’t forget. That drum gave me four years of memories, tired days of marching it around a football field, down Deer Park Avenue and New York City. But if I could use that drum one more time, I would in a heartbeat.
5. The band room became my home away from home. If I wasn’t home and was at school most times I was in the band room. As the years went on, I only started being there more and more often. I did almost everything in the band room, I spent time in the band room before my first period class, spent my lunch period in the band room, did homework in the band room and when I played lacrosse freshman year spent the time before practice in the band room. Senior year, whenever I had a substitute teacher for a class I would just go to the band room for that period. I even actually practiced my music in the band room sometimes. Most of my school days were just spent in the band room.
Marching band has helped me find myself in what I love doing which is music and theatre, and be myself without having to worry that I’m being extremely weird because the band was family and they won’t judge you no matter what. It also gave me lifetime worth friends, teachers who will always be there when I need them and memories I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. My final days of high school was a realization that marching band and playing drums with the best people I knew was over and it went way too fast, but I will forever cherish the experiences made, people met, and life lessons learned.