I am a clarinetist. For the past six years I have perfected the notes in pieces like Culloden III and Band of Brothers. I believe that music shows people’s feelings towards others.
Excitement and butterflies surge through my stomach as the Orem Golden Tiger Elite Marching Band of roughly eighty teenagers step out onto the dry hard football at Las Vegas High School. Even though we come from seven different schools, we march as one, heads held high, gazes piercing our audience. It has taken five long months of drills, rehearsals, competitions and the occasional lecture to come this far. /As I march forward my toes are high, my shoulders back. I hit a perfected set and pop up on my toes to march backwards. As I hit my final set, a lone clarinet between two baritones, I’m sweating buckets, but I know that we have done our best. We march off the field with joy in our hearts, each of us ready to size up our rivals.
In the end, we take fourth in Division III. Of all the competing bands, only twelve will perform again in finals. Over all, Orem takes thirteenth by ¼ of a point. Disappointed, we head back to the bus to get out of our uniforms. As everyone begins to undress, Mr. Lemen, our band director approaches to tell us that the twelfth place band already left and the judges gave us the option of performing again. Mr. Lemen let us decide. He didn’t want us to march again because he knew the judges were prejudice of Orem. The drum majors took a vote, seventy-nine to one. A tuba player was exhausted and mad at the judges. It was pretty much unanimous. We marched one last time. Everyone was relaxed and giddy. We may not have taken first but we felt good.
Later that night, two buses headed toward Orem were full of happy teenagers. We played games for hours and reminisced about our performance. At a gas station just outside of Laverkin, Utah, we stopped for a potty brake at about midnight. A parent who had stayed behind called to announce that we had taken eleventh over all. Everyone was so excited. We through small monkeys around the gas station for almost an hour. As I looked around at the kids sitting around me, many of them are still in junior high or go to my school, Mountain View’s rivals Orem High School. I don’t care. Without marching band, I wouldn’t have some of the friends I have today. Music brought us all together.
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