Sunday 26 October 2008

We Got Some

Today I stood on the field in the carrier dome, for the last time, waiting to perform my final field show. Tears were finally beginning to dry on my face - tears of sorrow to leave this group, of love for everyone in it, and of pride for all they have accomplished this year. Trying to calm myself down, I watched the band that was currently performing. Colorguard flags whirled, brass wailed, woodwinds sang - and I wondered, what is this activity about?

It seems rather dull and almost ridiculous. How can anyone find meaning in a marching band drill? Creativity has no place in this art - you do what they tell you to, exactly how they tell you to do it. Perfection means being exactly the same as everyone else. You certainly can't put your own ideas and style into a show like this. No, the "spark", the chill you get on the field, the butterflies in your stomach, do not come from your drill packet or your sheet music or basic block with Hillman. That comes from the bus rides, the down time at rehearsal, the lunch breaks at band camp. It comes from the friendships you begin, the bonds you form, and the memories you create at band. I feel like that's the real activity here - you take these memories and this passion, and suddenly the dots on your drill chart mean a little bit more. The once dry, boring (and maybe confusing) sets and formations begin to take on a new meaning. Every set reminds you of a different joke, every song reminds you of a different memory.

When I watch other bands, I feel like I don't get to see everything in their show. I feel like between the well-dressed lines, the carefully tuned chords, there are inside jokes, good times, and close bonds. I don't see a show; I see a group like mine. And today, when I saw Mohonasen, I couldn't help but feel (if only for a second) that they should win. Not because they were any cleaner, louder, or sharper than us, but because I knew they had worked just as hard and they had become just as close to each other as our band had. Their smiles and their energy proved that they deserved to win it. While I probably would have prefered winning 1st by ourselves, I don't mind sharing so much. Our success this year has been incredible. We have achieved so much. For not one, but two bands to do that in a season only doubles my pride. This tie will be something to talk about for a while - it's the third in NYSFBC history. I think it's something to celebrate. We are still state champions (four times for my class!) and we should be proud, even if another band is bragging about the same thing in Long Island.

My marching band career has been incredible. We have been state champions four out of five years, and the only year we lost was our first year in a higher class. I have made a pretty obnoxious number of close friends and an even more obnoxious number of memories. I leave the field today with nothing but love for the band and all it's done for me. My only sorrow is that I won't be around to see Dave McVicker tear it up on his alto sax, Dan Matthews try out for Drum Major, or Scotty Meyers lead the drum line. This year our band was really young, but this only means that in a few years, they are going to make even more incredible things happen. While I won't be there, I know I'll be part of it. I know I had an impact on them, and I nurtured their love of marching band, and that might be even more incredible than all the joys I have personally experienced.

I didn't intend for this, but.... college essay?

No comments: