These past couple of months have been full of marching band. It seems that whenever I look around, I find myself out on the field or in the band room. Normally, as was the case in the last two years, this was a good thing. I lived and breathed marching band starting in late Summer and on into the Fall. It was something that I had come to love, and it was a time when I could be with all of my friends.
Things were different this year. Although there are a lot of really cool people I get to hang out with in band, I didn’t have nearly as much fun as I always do. A primary reason for this, was some of the people. I lost a few friends who had graduated last year, which was of course hard for me, but another problem was some of the people who were still in the band: the people who couldn’t care less, and generally sucked because of this.
Let me fill you in on a few things. In my section of flute players, I am one of two section leaders. As a section leader, I am in charge of setting up sectionals with the other section leader. Sectionals are great, because we get a chance to help the girls work on basic things we don’t have time to drill during full band rehearsal. This includes memorizing music, marching in time, and being able to march in time while playing the music. When we hold these sectionals, we expect everyone to show up. But is this what happens? Of course not! What makes it even worse, is that the ones who don’t show up, are the ones who need the most work.
Allow me to explain this in a way we can all relate to: the dreaded group project. Why does everyone hate the group project? The same exact reason why marching band is becoming less and less enjoyable for me. Whenever you are required to complete a group project, whether at school or at work, there is always that person who doesn’t do their share. Everyone else in the group works their tail off because they want a good grade on the project, but that one person decides that they really don’t care, thus bringing the entire group down.
This is exactly how it goes in marching band. A majority of us work super hard putting in the time it takes to make the band good enough to win competitions, and the rest just destroy all that hard work by refusing to put in the extra time it takes. We have a pretty good sized band, but a lot of the people are not truly committed. I would prefer a smaller band with hard working kids, to a large band full of a bunch of people who don’t want to be there.
I get that not everyone loves marching band as much as I do, but don’t sign up for something you can’t fully commit to. The only thing this does, is hurt those who really want to be there. It’s a simple choice: commit or quit.