The same band had marched in the Rose Bowl Parade, NYC's Macy's Parade, and Pasadena, but for me, this was the biggest crowd I had ever marched in front of, as it was only my second parade. The journey here was a long one, one of dehydration and a dislocated knee. Enduring my first ever band camp and spending hours of practice out in the freezing cold where all part of the upward climb towards my goal- challenging myself my senior year. The end of my junior year was the moment I decided that it was time for a change. My grades had improved and I felt like a new person.
The drum major is the student leader of the band, and he is, at the same time, a role model, a teacher, a friend to all, an excellent musician, a performer, a liaison between the band and the director, the director’s chief “gopher,” and the chief morale officer. The drum major leads the marching band in the halftime show and during rehearsals, but as the above list demonstrates, his job is much more inclusive. I joined the West Monroe High School Rebel Band in August of 2007. Although I had been in band for three years in middle school, high school band was a whole new world full of many changes. One of the biggest changes was the addition of marching; suddenly, it was like I was learning how to play all over again.
My endurance and my effort to play the best show without complaining about the weight paid off when I received the award for "Rookie of the Year." For the next three seasons of band practice, the ache and toil continued. Whenever the band had practice, followed by a football game and then a competition, my brain would blur from fatigue and my body would scream in agony. Nevertheless, I pointed my toes high in the air as I marched on, passionate about the activity. As a result, my band instructor saw my drive toward music and I was named Quartermaster for my junior year, being trusted with organizing, distributing, and collecting uniforms for all seventy-five members of the band.
Every New Year, visitors experience the beauty of the floral floats along with spirited marching bands and high-stepping equestrian units along the 51⁄2 mile route down Colorado Boulevard.” Traditionally college football has showcased large bands that parade around the field to provide halftime entertainment. Some colleges have military precision in their alignments and formations, others have dance teams and cheerleaders to the halftime showcase. Collegiate students spend countless hours of practicing and perfecting this halftime show. Some universities where the football programs are not very good the bands and cheering squads have become the mainstay of the football event, and will offer full scholarships to its band members.
I’ve been in band for seven years now and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The band director now, Ms. Marcella, says, “This is YOUR band, get involved!” because there is just so many things to get involved with. I thought that band just during school was exciting, but there was so much more to that. There is Band Council, Ensembles, Pep Band, Jazz Band, Leadership Positions, local performances, and much more I had missed out on during my freshman and sophomore year. In my junior year I joined Band Council, Clarinet Ensemble, and ran for Field Leader and Office Assistant for the Leadership Team.
Regional Band Competition The situation was insane. Not only did I have to make time in the busy schedule of my junior year to take a few days off from school to attend the District One East High School Band Festival, but I actually had to audition to get a decent seat. Don't get me wrong; I was thrilled about attending. I just wasn't looking forward to having to make up two day's worth of schoolwork. For once, I would be attending a festival where the seating arrangement wasn't based on how fast you could sprint to the stage from your seat in the auditorium, but on how talented of a musician you were.
Due to their thorough auditioning processes, they have a group of musicians, who can play extremely well, all of whom are brought together to entertain the crowds on their three month tour in the summer. Their goal is not just entertainment, but to end up on the top of the order when all is said and done at the championships. In 1972, several Drum and Bugle corps, who wanted to perform competitively against each other, embarked on a venture to create their own rules of performance. The original rules were set forth by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, from whom competitive Drum Corps w!as given birth. The competing units had little to say in any modification of rules.
Fast forward to today, I’m one of the most successful students the band program has ever seen. From Solo & Ensemble contest to marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I’ve seen and done so much, all because of band, all because of one decision in the middle of my 6th grade year. A decision that has forever changed my life. It’s because of that impact on my is why I want to become a music teacher. I want to change someone’s life, give them the same opportunities that I was given and see them soar beyond what they are.
DCI, an acronym that not too many people know the meaning of, but for those who do, you’ll soon learn that it is more than marching band. Started over three decades ago, Drum Corps International has “delivered the message of ‘excellence in performance and in life’ to over 7.2 million young people” (Drum Corps International About). That motif of excellence is echoed throughout their 60 day tour around the country. While learning their music, drill and visuals, the participants learn something more important, something that can’t be judged on finals night. Having to support themselves for more than three months on the road, the kids learn values and skills that they’ll use for the rest of their life, skills such as “the value of teamwork, improved self-confidence, meeting and working with people with diverse backgrounds and origins, and making new, lifelong friends” (For Parents).
I am a band parent. A proud band parent. I was in band many years ago. I had the privilege of being in the Spring/Westfield band program in Houston, Texas. The high school was divided into two separate schools my senior year, and I attended Westfield.