I believe in music. Any form, played, sung, written, or danced to, whether a symphony, or ad-libbed bluegrass played on a banjo, music has the ability to do anything, inspire, calm, or provide cause to reminisce.
I began playing the piano at the age of five long before I realized how large a role music would play in my life. My mother signed my older brother and me up for lessons, lessons that I did not want to take. She told us that we would thank her later, and just like any child, young or old, I hate having to admit that my mother was right. I found the joy of singing a few years later, and then I began playing a baritone horn, a little tuba, in the elementary school band.
Band was always more than just getting together and playing music for me, though bringing over fifty kids together to play music is an amazing thing in itself. Band has always been another family, a family that shares your love and your passion for music, among other things.
When I began high school, I joined the marching band because I thought I would give it a try. During my first season I said repeatedly that I would never do it again; it was too hard; it was too much work; it was thankless next to the football team. However, at the end of that first season, when I stepped onto that field at the marching band Atlantic Coast Championships in Scranton that freezing November night, I realized that I had never put so much work into anything in my fifteen years of life up until that point. Those six months of practice, dedication, and growing into a family with the other members of the band were simply awe-inspiring for me. I put my heart into that show and marched that night with so much pride that during the last chord of our marching show’s ballad I cried, for in my mind, I had never heard anything so beautiful.
Music then became the base of everything do. I began playing the cello and found my greatest passion in directing. I remember being on that podium in front of the one hundred and twenty piece band made up of my friends and peers to direct for the first time. My knees shook uncontrollably and when I called their horns up, my voice cracked from nerves and anticipation. I began to move my arms and guide them through the music and they followed. Standing in front of them hearing that music blast back at me was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
It’s strange to think that when my mother signed me up for piano lessons it would lead me into a life so immersed in music. Maybe I should listen to her more often when she says, “You’ll thank me later…”