In high school, I was a part of the marching band. I did not play an instrument. I twirled flag and rifle and, to be honest, the only reason I tried out was because I had just moved to the school and it was the only thing left to try out to join for the following year.
I am so glad I tried out. I am so glad I made the cut. I am so thankful that marching band, and all that came with it, was a big part of my life for those three years… and the years that have followed.
Aside from the friendships and the great memories and the thrill of performing (and getting over the fear that I would take out a tuba player every single time we threw a triple while racing through them… Thank God I always caught those tosses!), Miss Berry, the band parents and the band experience taught me so much about working hard, staying strong and believing in myself as well as relying on others.
You can see a little about my experience here: (Yep, that’s my band and my band director, a few, or not-so-few years later)
As you’ll see in the video, Miss Berry didn’t mince words then and it looks as though she still doesn’t today. As a result, you were NEVER late to practice, which began at 3:57 or some crazy time like that. You NEVER forgot to bring what you needed to a practice or show. And you never spoke when she was speaking. (All good lessons in my book.) In addition to being ruthless in her pursuit of excellence, she was also relentless in her love of us and our dreams of being the best. Perhaps that is why we always received the highest of scores and gained unique opportunities such as performing at the Very Merry Christmas Day Parade at DisneyWorld (for world broadcast) and appeared in many commercials, also for Disney. And perhaps that is part of why I continue to push myself today.
Music was and is important to my life. It adds so much. Even though I didn’t play music in school, I still loved it. Some days, if I didn’t have another activity right after school, I would sit in the band room and listen to the jazz band play while I did my homework. I have always loved great live music, and the Brantley band was exceptional. I can only imagine it still is today.
When I hear about schools cutting music programs, it saddens me. Band brought great memories, but it also taught me a LOT. The lessons and experiences I gained from band were monumental. I hate to see today’s kids getting robbed of all of that.
If you were in band or value music or music education at all, please consider supporting this project. Music programs are at risk of getting cut. Let’s not let that happen.
I hope you enjoy the video. I can’t wait to see the final version. And I hope kids get to continue to enjoy music education.