I come from a band of 47 members in a rather rural community. Understand that participation in the marching band is optional for regular band members, so everybody present WANTS to be. As a result, we take pride in what we do.
I am our band's Drum Major, and as any member of our marching band will tell you, we love to make music. We love to make music. Then, we love to run around on a football field and do cool stuff at the same time. We also love each other, most of the time. Hopefully now I have begun to paint the appropriate picture in your mind of our band; we function the way we do because we love it.
I can't generalize what every band or football team does; every group is different. There are hard working bands and hard working football teams. There are also lazy bands and lazy football teams. Therefore, the only thing I can factually present is how MY band functions.
End of school: new show announced, band director's
writing it, PRACTICE YOUR HORN.
Early July: music starts coming out to members via
internet, memorization begins.
Mid/Late July: music rehearsals. lots of 'em
Beginning of August: BAND CAMP!
Week 1: 9-9. section leaders typically call you in
by 8. drilling marching, commands, drill on
blacktop. sparse water breaks. if any. lunch.
under 45 minutes total. assorted sectionals,
music rehearsals, and a goofy game or two to
break up the intensity. outside again, drill,
instruments. dinner. outside, drill, instruments.
Week 2: 9-5. same as week 1, only with fewer
breaks and no games. mostly outdoor.
THEN: during school, we practice Tuesday-Friday till 6, except on Fridays when we have home football games, then we have practice till we eat supper and then we're at the game till 10.
AND THEN?: competitions on Saturdays. a lot. when there isn't a competition, there's a practice.
Oh yeah, we basically have a blast while we do it too. How about that?
Nobody can tell me we don't work hard. Beyond work, we leave part of ourselves on the field every performance. Music is emotional, and if your very soul isn't put into the music, you have nothing. We have something, and it's beautiful. Seriously.
Some people say marching band kids don't have lives. Oh, but yes. Yes we do. It's called being a part of something bigger than yourself. It's called music.
What a marching band kid, he's walking in step to the music in the mall!