When I was an awkward freshman in high school, band was life changing for me. I felt out of place in such a big new school, and I wasn’t really sure if I would fit in anywhere. I had played percussion in middle school, but I figured band in high school was very different. I was certainly right about it being different because it was much more challenging, but it was also much more rewarding. There is an art to marching band that most people do not realize. It is not just a bunch of people walking around playing instruments on a football field. It takes serious technique, time, and dedication. Three weeks before school even starts all drum line members begin prepping music for the show for about nine hours a day. The following week the rest of the band joins. From one to ten at night we are learning drill, rehearsing music, and doing as many repetitions as possible. It can be very mentally and physically draining. I started on vibraphone my freshman year and played marimba my sophomore and junior year, and senior year I was the leader of my section. I went from being a timid player to becoming a leader. It was truly life changing for me, and I am so thankful I had such a positive high school experience because of band. It is like one giant family of all different kinds of people. I learned so many skills that I can apply in the real world, but the biggest lesson I learned was how to work with others.
Band is such an amazing experience for so many young people, but many schools have inadequate facilities. When I graduated from high school there were 280 students in the band, and our band room was old and worn down. The school consistently gave funding to the athletics department and ignored the arts department. Other schools in the area had used Birmingham Brick Mason (BirminghamBrickmason.com) to help build them a new facility, but our school has yet to put the band before football or basketball. It makes my blood boil to think that sports are considered to be more important than the arts. It is a huge slap in the face considering we win more trophies each year than most other athletic programs at the school. Not only that, but it is like saying one group of students is more important than another, which is simply not fair. I would have been lost without band, and
I know many other student feel the same way. It is important to give equal funding to all groups and make all students feel welcome. I hope in the future that students can come into the band program and there will be a much nicer facility for them to practice in.