When most people hear marching band, they think “band nerds,” “they don’t do anything,” or “it’s not a sport.” Well, little do they know that we do so much.
Some of us band members have been in band since 6th grade, or probably joined during high school, but the thing is at the end we love what we do. I joined band in 6th grade and I don’t regret it one bit.
Band is so much more than playing an instrument and competing. Each year the band has a different show to perform usually the selection is chosen around May, or at least for us, it was. As soon as we got the music, we started learning it because we had to have it memorized.
Around mid-July was when summer band started. It’s where there’s three-a-days, hours of practice, the smell of sunscreen as soon as you enter the band hall, and of course, we can’t forget about the band tan lines. During summer-band, just like the football players are conditioning for the season we are too. Midway of summer band we finally got our drill and got to start learning our sets for the show. At this point, we were very excited but this also meant business because our goal was to finish the whole show by the first week of school to perform it at the first football game.
This is when marching season official starts. For the months of August and September, we practiced every day after school and perfected everything from the show. Honestly, practices were my least favorite, only because it was very tiring. When the month of October came I was very excited because it was finally BANDTOBER!!! The reason it’s called Bandtober is because October it’s the month where all competitions start, and it’s the busiest for all of us.
For us (Nixon) we started our first weekend of October competing at Vista Ridge that was held in the John Gupton Stadium. I got to see tons of amazing bands and got to learn a lot from all of them. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the finals but in all, it was a great experience.
The following weekend was the LISD marching festival and as well the Donna Marching Festival. I clearly remember getting home really late at night from the football game and waking up at 5 am the next day and feeling exhausted. We managed to pull through and competed at the LISD festival and got outstanding results against the other bands of Laredo. We quickly got back on the bus and headed to Donna. At Donna, we did much better than the previous weekend but we still had a lot of work to do. I was shocked by all of the competing band’s shows and how good they looked and sounded.
The next completion was the most important for us, U.I.L. U.I.L. was where it determined if we got to go on and compete in Area since this year it was our state year. State year is every other year, for 5A it was this year so we had extra pressure this season. At UIL, we put our best into it and we got a 1, which meant we were going on to Area.
All of us were pumped. Personally, for me, since this was my first state year I was nervous because we were going to have some big competition at Area and we had to work a lot in order to make finals. Our goal was obviously to make State from now on.
For that week at practice, it was a tough one. My favorite practice from the whole season was the last one. I clearly remember how exhausted we all were from months of practice we had and how we reflected from the very beginning to now.