Band and Guard were both very important to me. They were my outlet and a place I could escape from things. To some in concert band it was important to show skill and to get the best chair, but to me it was simply a chair. I was there to learn and play music because I enjoyed it. In guard I always felt so alive letting tosses fly and feeling the sting of a good catch against my calm.
I had always loved music. In my younger years I was in Ms. Wingate's percussion ensemble and Mrs. Mack’s choir. I was in band all through middle school and high school. My four years of high school I marched guard in the fall and played concert flute in the winter. I chose to play the flute after listening to a girl accompany Mrs. Mack’s choir. To me, it had a beautiful and sometimes bitter sweet tone. I really don’t remember why I tried out for guard, but I am glad I did.
What I loved about being in the guard was they didn't care about body size or personal style. They accepted you. Girls and sometimes guys from all sorts of social clicks came together.
I learned all sorts of musical skills from band. In color guard I learned how to dance and do make up, which I could not do well beforehand. I was also taught how to be a leader.
While newer band members may think that upper classmen or section leaders are picking on them, those student leaders are actually trying to show they care and that they want all band members to be the best they can be. But section leaders should remember not to get so caught up in their passions that they forget that others may not be as passionate as they are. Reflecting on my band years, I have realized that even though I sometime demonstrated my passion in a way that came across as wrong to others, I am glad that I had that passion. What I learned from guard is how important it is to try to understand others better.
I shared a year of band with my younger sister. From what I hear she has become a great performer and leader. I am very proud of her. I think the band is a wonderful opportunity for young people to not only be part of a group but to learn valuable skills and self- discipline. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing all your hard work pay off. To hear the cheer of the crowd and see the smiles of your fellow band members after a great show makes it all worth it.