I believe in hard work. I believe in taking pride in myself. I believe in honor and valor. So, I believe in the marching band.
In practice, I rehearse like I am in the army. “No talking, no moving, no scratching at attention!” is one of my band director’s favorite sayings. The whole band runs back to their sets so we can have more repetitions of our marching segments and make them better. Though we usually rehearse well, any staff member is willing to “encourage” us to rehearse better, usually through screaming.
In addition to the hard work, I also have long hours. Each week, I march between 8 and 21 hours. This depends on whether or not if there is a football game or Saturday rehearsal. Yes, I must give every other Saturday for the good of the band and the show. It is exceptionally hard to give up this time, especially because of it I rarely see my non-band friends. Although an unfortunate sacrifice, I am willing to make it for the activity I love so much.
Though everyone in band works incredibly hard, I sometimes feel obligated to work harder. Freshman year, I was the section’s only alternate. Everyone said I was still an important part of the band. I silently thought, “Yeah, just not important enough to actually be in the show.” My self-esteem was crushed, I doubted my skills and thought of myself as a terrible marcher. So this year, I have set out to prove that not only am I worthy enough to march, but I am also dedicated enough to lead. After every “rep,” I run back to my set, I play loudly, and I try to correct anything I might have done incorrectly. People have started to follow my lead. I no longer run back to my sets alone; I race several people. Now, I do not only hear the veteran marcher playing, I hear the freshman and lower chairs join in. Only through hard work and determination could this have been achieved.
The band is one huge family. At band camp, the freshmen are told that they will return to school with 200 new best friends. While it is impossible to be friends with everyone, there is a deep sense of comradeship between everyone in the band. Even if I do not like a band member, I will defend them in a time of need. I have made many lasting friendships, especially with the people in my section, and saying goodbye at graduation is always difficult.
People that do not understand the band should not talk poorly about it. Anyone with the audacity to say that band is not a sport is sadly mistaken. We put huge amounts of effort and time into band, like any sport or other enjoyable activity. There is more to marching band than a group of kids in funny costumes; there is hard work and effort anyone can believe in.