I have decided to write about this amazing sport, activity, past time and even a family from reader request. Throughout all four years of my high school career I spent my summers outside, on a parking lot, or the football stadium for hours a part of something bigger than myself; marching band.
To some on the outside, Marching band is a “cult”, a closed unique group full of some pretty strange kids. I can say that part of this is true- we are all different which makes for a pretty interesting mix of people and to some extent we were a “cult”. For most of us, myself especially, our best friends came out of this group of people, our first relationships came out of being a part of this group, etc. Marching band is more than a group of teenagers walking around playing wind instruments. Marching Band is a family where every member is included, valued and important. In my opinion, High School Marching Band is the ultimate individual and team sport, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I was introduced to Marching Band when I was in 8th grade, and I got to have a “Marching Band Buddy” who was a member of the marching band for the high school homecoming game. This changed my life in ways that I never could have imagined. After spending time with the high school band during 8th grade I made the decision to join my freshman year, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Marching band is an individual sport because it challenges every single member to be the absolute best that they can be, the whole group is only as good as its “weakest” member. On the other hand Marching band is the ultimate team sport because each person must be in sync to have the best performance as possible. The leaders need to encourage the newer members and help them to grow, learn and achieve. The band feels every loss together, and every win together. If they are fortunate, they get to volunteer at invitationals and clinics, and they get to travel even to different states to compete.
Marching band helped me to unlock my potential- I discovered how much I could push myself, and I learned how much I could push other people. I learned invaluable leadership and interpersonal skills, and was able to hone my time keeping and planning skills, all while creating an amazing product with 100 other people.
More than a team, band is a family. Your section- the people who play the same instrument as you, or spins the same equipment- are your siblings, your directors are like more parents/mentors, the other sections are like first cousins, or aunts and uncles. Other bands are like weird extended family members that you don’t really understand, that you are very competitive with, but at the end of the day they are part of your silly, weird extravagant family. Every person who has a history of marching band is part of a community that extends across generations, and state lines. Marching band reaches all demographics, and helps every person who joins to strive to be the best that they can be while creating lasting memories and friendships that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
Marching band is part of my “glory days” but it is an activity that I will be eternally grateful for. Marching Band itself and the people involved have all helped me to become the person that I am today, and I think that is amazing. If any of you have ever considered joining marching band while in high school or college, I say do it. Take a chance, you might click with it and never look back.
Thank you so much for reading! ~Focused Wanderer