By: Aglaheth Zaragoza
Band is not just a word, it’s meaning lies behind the unforgettable feeling of performing alongside those you call family.
Through blistering heat and chilling evenings, these students fail to feel like they are out-of-place. When they look up and meet that crowd, there’s pride in their eyes for their band, for the family that they have become.
This marching season began in July and enters in full swing as they prepare for their first performance this Friday at the Tulare Western football game. There they will present this year’s field show. Excitement is in the air.
For the freshmen, this will be their first performance and for the seniors it will be a heartfelt goodbye to their very last, first performance of the year. With those practices, for three hours every Tuesday and Thursday as well Saturdays for long periods of time, these students learn to work together and understand one another better.
Many of these students enjoy these practices because it allows them to keep their minds off of other things and instead focus on something that they enjoy. This is the place in which they truly feel like themselves, the field is what they call their second home.
The next best thing to hour-long practices with your favorite people, are the band competitions. It is a great experience.
No matter how long the competitions may last, or how early they must get up, there is no denying the nervousness as well as excitement that settles in as they make way to perform.
There is just something so fascinating when you are standing on that field and they tell you to “Take the Field.” To make that field your own as you bring it to life with your performance, as you give it a soul built on music; it is something not easily forgotten.
There is an inexplicable rush at performing in front of hundreds of people, to hear how your playing affected them. That feeling of accomplishment when these students finish their show, feeling tired and breathing rapidly is not brought into mind until they step off that field.
It is an experience that can never be taken away from them, for the bonds that were formed with people they didn’t know at first. There on that field, surrounded by those people, is a written happiness. These are people you will never forget.
When asked, “How has band changed your life?” Aileen Prieto, senior, said, “Band has changed my life drastically. It gave me something to look forward too, and it also helps me with my anxiety issues. The moment I played a recorder in the fifth grade had me interested in music. The fact that I would have a way to express myself without words fascinated me.”
What is band to you? As difficult it may seem to find a response to this, Mark Teixeira, junior, said, “Band is life, because it is the only thing that pushes me to do better. It makes me feel that I have succeeded in life. Everyone has a purpose in life, as for me, band is my purpose.”
Band is something that has become so very important to these students that it is very difficult to imagine them doing something else. But for those few who ever feel down, I tell you to raise your head and lift your chin.
This quote as small as it may be on google, has inspired me to keep going.
Now I leave this to those few. This is for you, “Band is the first thing freshmen hear when they walk through those gates and Band is the last thing seniors hear when they walk down that aisle to receive their diploma.”
Be proud, and continue MARCHING ON!