4/02/2013

Small Town Band

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you wouldn't be surprised that "B is for Band".  At one time, the Small Town's Band had over 100 members.  And the high school had 300 students.  It was a time when the band had to use more buses than the football team.
Right about the time I started to learn how to play an instrument, Small Town hired a young, right out of undergrad school man.  To say he was amazing is an understatement.  He was tough...he scared the bijeezuz out of me!  I think we were all in awe of him.  He demanded respect, and respect was what he got.
To hear some of the "oldtimers" tell it, the band was pretty incredible when he came into the picture...I think he just took it to a different level.  The band had a huge tradition, and the Small Town was known for its band.
Band was such a big part of my high school life:  the band camps, the football games, the competitions.  At one of our competitions, it was raining and the wind was blowing.  The stadium was like a big bowl magnet for the wind.  A trombone player lost his shoe.  One of the rifles tossed her rifle and it hit her eye, but she kept on marching.  At another competition there was a tornado warning, and the competition had to be moved to a nearby small university (that just happened to be my future school) because they had a "mini-dome".
There was drama:  kids getting in trouble because they opted to go to a concert instead of being at a Thursday night band practice.  Kids who literally got their rear-end kicked for doing stupid stuff.  (That would never happen today, by the way!)
And the band trips!  Disney World was always the best!  (We won't even talk about the sucky trip to the Bahamas my senior year.)
The downfall of the band actually began when I was in high school, after the band director left.  When I moved back to the Small Town, there were 18 people in the band.  EIGHTEEN. Our first year back, there was a new band director:  a young, right out of undergrad school man. At the rival football game (which was at the Rival School), they actually marched at halftime.  Apparently that was the first time in years that had happened.  You have to understand the rival football game.  We're talking over 10,000 people packed into the stadium.  And, there are these scared, little high schoolers marching onto the field.  They had to feel like they were being thrown to the wolves.  What happened as they took the field gave me chills...and a tear or 2 may have filled my eyes.  The home side (which was the rival's side) not only clapped, but gave them a standing ovation.   That same band director is still here, and the band has grown to around 50.  YS was in the band, and it was so amazing to see him experience the same things I did.  His senior band trip was also to the Bahamas, but they did it right:  on a cruise.
What else would "B" be for in a Small Town?

15 comments:

  1. How nice to be member of a band ! I never was ! Not musical enough !

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  2. My small town band was better known for their concerts than their ability to march. It's amazing how big a difference a good band instructor makes. Mine was one of the best.

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  3. I was never in the band, but my husband was and I love to hear him talk about it. And I love hearing you talk about it. Great picture of you and your son.

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  4. Interesting history to Small Town Band. I always wanted to play a musical instrument and be a part of a band.

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  5. I know my hubs feels great respect and admiration for the former band director. I'm glad its back on track. I went to a huge highschool with a ginormous band. I was not in the band but it was a big part of the school.

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  6. Wow! Very cool. I hope they continue to be strong. Our band has 100 members every four years--the year of the Disney trip. :) There are apx. 1600 kids in the high school though, a bit different.

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  7. Bands always seem like they have the most fun... too bad I never played anything remotely well :)

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  8. Very nice to hear about your Small Town - especially the Band! I always wanted to play in or conduct a band, but I don't play any band instruments. The nearest I've gotten is to conduct a choir - and I will be blogging about that during April (C is for Choir!). :-)

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  9. Love B being for a band in a small town. Since I too live in one and am a band person this one was special.

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  10. Would you believe that my hometown was so small that we didn't even have a band? I graduated in a class of only 50! Now, that takes the cake, huh? ;)

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  11. I am in a small town in the Northeast, in the summer, a couple towns over has a band concert on the common every Sunday night, it's great!

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  12. Another great one! Keep them coming :)

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  13. Love your stories about living in a small town. Great slice of American life.

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  14. I almost felt like i was there!

    (Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge)

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  15. I was in marching band in Maine. The Christmas parade was always a bit chilly. My fingers were freezing playing the piccolo--but I really felt bad for the cheerleaders who marched with us!

    Kate @ BJJ, Law, and Living

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