The till they disappear around the corner,

The boom of the bass drum rattles my instrument after the sound check. I stand there in my Black and Blue amazed by how many people are here just to see me. I can feel the weight of the plume pushing down the front of my shako it’s as if there are 100 elephants on my shako. The band on before us sounds amazing, and as time gap gets smaller I can feel my gut being twisted until I feel that I need to sit down, but I can’t for there are no chairs and we are not allowed to sit in uniform in the first place. I can feel the emotion of the band on before us, you could tell that they were proud of their show. The end of their show gets closer and the feeling in my gut only gets worse.

The band before us blasts their last note at the audience erupts into applause. The band walks by us silent like ghosts, their Green and Gold jackets bright and clean. Following them is their drum line with a single snare drum tapping to keep their feet in time.

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Mr. Romero reminded us to “Smile but don’t talk or gesture to the other band.” We watch them till they disappear around the corner, and then our time comes to take the field. The Guard runs out to prepare, setting their flags, sabers and rifles along the front and back of the field. The pit rushes along the front of the stadium as their instruments chime and jingle behind them. Garrett, Sammy, Hayden and I run over to the side of the field and grab props, telling jokes to each other as we place it on the 35 yard line in the front of the field.I bend my neck backwards and immediately I am overwhelmed, the sky seems to be so far up, granted it is. It is enough to make me dizzy by just looking at it.

My stomach begins to twist more. The stadium filled to the brim and all eyes are on us, my heart started to race at top speed. We are the very first 4A High School Band to perform after the break so more people came to see us. Suddenly, I realize that I blacked out for the rest of the usual warm ups and was just playing random notes. Then I hear our introduction “Joining us from Broomfield, Colorado under the direction of Ruben Romero, please welcome the Broomfield Eagle Marching Band! The Broomfield band’s show title is called OpPoSiTeS. The Colorado Bandmasters Association is proud to present in our 2017 Quarter finals competition, Drum major Bre Gray and the Broomfield High School Eagle Marching Band!” I have heard it so many times I can recite it by heart, well at least for this season.

Once we finally started my eyes are stuck on my drum major and my feet, analyzing my every move making sure I am nailing most formations. I catch glimpses of the floating plumes all around me, smoothly gliding across the field, with some bouncing up and down. Before I know it we are in our last formation on the field, and at our last visual the crowd breaks out in a massive cheer, the waves of sound crashing against my body make me feel so small and insignificant. I can feel myself almost falling backwards. The Drum Major gives us the wave to exit the field, all of us winded and pumped.

With our instruments at trail and our feet we Once we get back to the staging area and march in our usual ‘Cinnamon Bun’ until we surround the drum major. Shouting she said our chant “Band ten hut, four one, heels; together, stomach; in. Chest; out, shoulders; back, chin; up, eyes; with pride, Eyes; with pride, EYES; WITH PRIDE!” I never felt more at home. The cold tears running down my face, realising my season was over and that I would never be in this same group again.

On the bus ride home there were so many feelings floating around. Some people had grins on their face, others crying, and some screaming with rage because we didn’t make semi finals. There were stories of previous years and songs to spare. By the time we got back to school at 3am we were all so tired we practically fell asleep unloading the truck. I was told the journey of 1000 miles began with a single step.

..who knew that step would be 8 to 5; full of love, hate, happiness, sadness, anger and time. Four hour rehearsals, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday really paid off.

This is so much more than just a band, it’s a family;  a very dysfunctional family but a family.


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