Marching band creates own type of family

Valeria Arriaga

Speed walking around a football field and blowing through some weird instrument is considered stupid by many people. Although many may say marching band members are insane for wanting to make a bunch of figures and play for eight minutes straight, people should think about the real work behind this insanity.

It’s funny how movies or TV shows can call anyone that plays a wind instrument a band geek or band dork, but people in band are so much more than that. It’s just like identifying every cheerleader as a stuck-up snob that thrives on making the lives of others miserable. I’m not saying it’s impossible to be the literal definition of what a group of people can be called, but at least for band people, not everyone’s a dork. I’m in band, and I’m everything but a nerd, more of a cool cucumber. What characteristics identify one as a band nerd anyway? According to Wikipedia, a band nerd is a stereotype under which members of the band are only capable of thinking about band and are socially inept except with other members of band. I will admit that most of my friendships lie within the band community, but I do have a few friends outside of band. The only reason so many of my friends are also in band is because I spend infinite hours, under a hot sun or Friday night lights with these people, and bonding is inevitable.

A majority of people also think marching band isn’t a sport, which is not true. We don’t practice ramming into other people or hitting some ball with a stick, but we basically run around football fields, like soccer, but we don’t kick anything (at least not intentionally). Marching stems from weeks of fundamentals and gets your heart rate up, just like any other sport does. Not to mention, aside from keeping up the marching technique, you have to blow every little breath of air out to play an awesome melody (except for percussion and color guard, but they work just as hard, if not harder, and during winter seasons they are at the pinnacle of performing). Just like other sports, we work and work to perfect lots of little things that we know are overlooked by general audiences, but it makes a difference within us as performers.

Marching band takes just as much team work and effort to both be good performers and to attempt educating the performers by working on skills that will come in handy in the big world. Although many think marching is not legitimate, at least it gives participants a place in which they are important all the time and not just when they hold higher positions. When one player is missing, everyone notices.

Bands are like family. They have quarrels amongst members and make unforgettable memories. They have fun with each other and push to the extremes, even though the thought of falling flat on their faces against 106-degree concrete doesn’t sound too great. Maybe sports teams go through the same things, but I assure you, as the end of senior year approaches, you’ll be left with memories that last a lifetime and friendships that helped you grow.