This past football season I joined the Marching Chiefs band. It was my first year on the Chiefs; I am an eighth grader in my last year of middle school. My band director Mr. Zimmermann believes in allowing dedicated middle school musicians become members of the varsity marching band and this year I did just that. This season my marching band included six eighth graders (including me) and three seventh graders. We were an integral part of the band.
Band camp happened in the middle of August for five long, hot, days and nights. We rehearsed, learned music, moves, marching, and the bulk of the halftime show during 13 hour plus days at our high school football and softball fields, as well as in the band and chorus rooms. The Friday of Band Camp week, the parents were invited to see the show which was not complete, but definitely better than when we’d started during our first-ever practice in May.
Practices continued after Band Camp Week into the start of the school year in September. Each practice more was added to the show, we changed things, and we continued to make the show better. In fact, every game we made cool changes to our performance so fans would want to stay and watch every time we took the field. We played a great half-time show every game, thanks to our amazing Band Director Mr. Zimmermann and his friends, who put the show together.
We played the music of Styx and Fall Out Boy. The songs we played were “Renegade”, “Centuries”, “Come Sail Away”, and finally “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark”, in that order.
The show had a mixture of singing and playing which was really cool and a crowd-pleaser. In addition to the music there was choreography including flag work by the color guard and select trumpet, flute, and clarinet players. That part was designed by Fred Moreno who also taught us how to march.
I was at Marching band so much it started to become my life! No complaints!
The season was tremendous and included one marching competition, a marching festival and a trip to West Point Army college. It was the first time our band competed more than once in a season in recent years. Our first competition we did okay. By the time we competed at the festival at West Point we had improved our scores and earned silver ratings!
Performing at West Point was a great experience for everyone involved in the marching band. We left our school at 4am with everyone really tired, but excited. Despite our early departure we still arrived late due to a missed turn by the bus driver. West Point officials greeted us in a rush and sent us on the field for our practice rehearsal. Afterwards we were allowed to witness the cadet band marching and performing. It was precise and excellent! Later we performed during halftime of the game with a dozen other school bands from all around, plus the West Point bands. We rocked the stadium playing “Shake It Off”, “Sweet Caroline”, and “New York, New York”. I’ll always remember that experience!
The first year of marching band was awesome. Next year’s show is going to be even better and is going to include everyone using a percussion instrument at the end. This will be a challenge for me, but one I’m ready to meet and excel at for my band. Marching Band is the absolute best and I suggest all high school, college, and in some cases middle schoolers join. It was the best thing I ever did!
Marching Band has helped me in a lot of ways. It has forced me to do better on my school work. It has also helped me to memorize things that I learn so if I forget to study or my music drops in the middle of a concert then I won’t be in a lot of trouble.
As the school year comes to a close I get sad for two reasons. First, my band mates and I all like the music and will miss performing it together, but most of all we are losing all of the seniors and it is hard to watch them leave. Most of them are going to colleges in different states, which is upsetting to me personally because they are great friends. But others are going to college nearby and are going to go to band camp in the summer. I’m glad about that!
Mr. Zimmermann is an amazing teacher. He makes me want to come back every week for marching band because he constantly inspires me and my band. Check out my piece about Mr. Zimmermann here: https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=513269286751420039#editor/target=post;postID=6118998447446740342;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=4;src=postname