Marching band is hard. I may’ve only spent a year doing it in high school, but I can say from experience and authority, that it’s no easy feet.
I started marching band when I was in my senior year of high school. I’d spent the previous three years living in England where–to the best of my knowledge–they don’t have school marching bands. Why? Probably because they don’t have football teams, but I digress. When we came back and I started school, I enlisted in the marching band. It was something I’d dreamed of doing since I was in middle school and I loved music. Besides, it was just marching. How hard could it be?
Pretty darn difficult as it turns out. I’m not a great at multi-tasking partially because of my Autism. And marching requires you to do several things at the same time; march, remember where you’re supposed to be going, follow the instructions with specificity, know when to start and stop, and play an instrument. Did I mention I played the clarinet?
It wasn’t to difficult most of the time. Since I was new to the band I had to shadow a more experienced band member (walk behind them in the formation). I got pretty confident. So confident in fact that–when one of the flutes had to miss our competition–I volunteered to step in for her. Ha! I should’ve stayed on the sidelines.
Playing in front of the local school is one thing. Playing in front of people I don’t know, doing something I’ve never done with any level of experience before is another. I’ll be honest–I was in a state of panic. Despite the fact that I’d practiced my move sequence as often as I could and was practically between the same two people for the entire show, I was scared out of my wits end. I played my instrument, utterly convinced that I was going to screw up or already in the process of doing so. I don’t know if that was true, but the Band Director didn’t point me out so I took a sigh of relief once it was over.
We ended up placing third out of four in that competition, but I didn’t care. Once the panic induced adrenaline had subsided and I was in a frame of mind to enjoy myself, I was glad that I’d done it.
After all, how many people can say they marched in a competition with only a few months of experience?
Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog and have no artistic right to it.