As a high schooler, I suppose I dealt with my share of ribbing from classmates for being in the marching band. In fact, I was probably considered doubly dorky in some circles because I was the only girl in the drumline. (Yes, as a teenager, most of my extra curricular school activities were spent almost exclusively in the company of adolescent boys, which explains a lot but is really a whole other story.)
Fortunately, I don’t remember caring very much about what my peers thought about me. Marching in the band meant I got to spend an extra 8-10 hours a week playing music … outdoors in the fresh air … and never once paid to see a home football game during my entire high school career. Even today that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
But what I did not realize at the time were all of the things I learned as a member of the Jefferson High School “Marching Bronchos.” I learned what a commitment was and what was involved in keeping one. I learned that team work was not limited to sports settings (I was a bit of a jock, too), and I learned how individuals, as talented as they may be on their own, can create something even more amazing by cooperating and collaborating with each other.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if everyone learned those things at the impressionable ages of 15 to 17? Can you even imagine what the world would be like if that were the case? There is no doubt in my mind that the lessons I learned as a marching band nerd did more to shape me as an adult than anything else I did in high school.
I did not continue to march in college, primarily because I always took a full course load (I HAD to graduate in 4 years for financial reasons) and was usually working more than one part-time job. But even if I had been in the marching band at my university, I could only have dreamed of being part of something as spectacular as the Ohio State Marching Band’s half-time performance last Saturday, all the more remarkable for the routine having been learned (both the music and formations) in just over week.
My fellow band geeks, this one’s for you. And non-band geeks, do not be put off by the fact that it’s almost 9 minutes long … it’s totally worth the watch.