My eyes are closed. I can feel my heartbeat in my ears, beating in time to the bass drum. Is this a spiritual experience? I stand in the crowd, surrounded by hundred of people feeling the same vivid emotions as I do. The music is what connects me to these strangers. It’s the common thread running from my veins into theirs. We’re all having a life changing experience, right there in that small music venue. But for the band on stage, it’s just another night on tour, going through the motions, playing songs they wrote years ago. And yet, my heart is telling me one thing: This is what I want to be someday. I want to change people’s lives. I want influence the dreams of individuals everywhere, just like those musicians who have influenced my dreams.
It is during monotonous afternoons in the sweltering heat where one discovers the true limitations of his or her resolve. Remarkably, our exuberant group of approximately 160 members repeatedly managed to accomplish a new feat and set a precedent after every repetition. Much of this persistence I attribute to our band director, whose passion and resolution roused us to attain superior versions of ourselves. Often, he would remind us that “what was acceptable yesterday is not acceptable today”, a sample of his wisdom that prompted me to audition for the role of drum major. A drum major is essentially the foremost proprietor of student leadership within a marching band and he or she functions as a musical conductor during performances. Though I was not chosen at the conclusion of my freshman year, my commitment only intensified. I auditioned once more at the end of the following year and was selected. Suddenly, I was thrust into a renowned position of liability. My success depended on effectively communicating with individuals unfamiliar to me on a daily basis and defusing stiff situations. Stressful and tedious as I have discovered the role to be, it has bolstered my confidence and allowed me to acknowledge the mantle of leadership in a new
The football stadium lights cut through the twilight sky like glass, creating an ambiance similar to that of Aurora Borealis. My heart pumps frantically as adrenaline fills my body, the crowd seated before me ripples and bellows like an ocean. The nerves that fill my stomach are agitated in a similar way, now is the time. I lug the heavy weight of my marimba and my anxieties as I descend onto the track with the remainder of the front ensemble, but the burden of my worries is no rival for the passion that drives my performance. Marching band has defined my life in ways that I had never thought possible. This was not how I expected it to turn out; the zeal that fills my being every waking moment of my performance never seems to pass. The months of summer fever and exhaustion that I had spent perfecting each note were worth it. They always are.
Imagine a third grader, small and blonde, standing on a stage that practically swallows her. She gazes in awe at the bright lights that seem to tower miles above her head; likewise, she follows with a stare, fixating on the hundreds of darkened faces that remain directly in front of her. Unlike her classmates who fidget with nerves beside her, she feels a rush of adrenaline. What may have seemed to some an ordinary choir concert in a dull auditorium, was, to me, a life changing moment. Ever since this day, for 9 years now, I have had an unwavering passion for music and performing. As I aged, I found myself excitedly learning how to play 7 new instruments, but even considering the vast number of bands, orchestras, choirs, and instrumental lessons that I joined, I noticed myself
In the first grade, I picked up a clarinet. It was my sister’s, collecting dust while waiting for me to play it. From the moment I produced my first sound, an ear-piercing squeal that frightened my dog, the path of my life took a turn for the better. I began teaching myself for the following three years, along with learning from my sister how to properly play the beautiful instrument. The music pushed me out of my comfort zone: concerts that forced me onstage, tests that made me play difficult songs, and teachers that pushed me to be an exceptional player. From the shy elementary school student I used to be to the outgoing band member I take joy in being today, music has shaped my everyday life.
When Chad Smith graduated high school in 1980, he encountered one of his most important musical experiences. Chad Smith was invited to start drumming with a band. The band was named ‘Pharaoh’ and it was a hit band around the year 1981. When he started playing with this band, Chad Smith met the band’s percussionist, Larry Fratangelo. With this experience, Chad’s drumming was increasing dramatically. “I think up until then, I was a drummer. Once I studied with Larry, I turned into a
The achievements of the Edgewood drum line has lead my transition from childhood to adulthood in many ways. My director has shown me how to be not only a good percussionist, but also a good leader. From these leadership qualities, I was able to lead our drum line to success in 2016. The the indoor drum line finals at the MEPA finals in 2016 where the Edgewood Drumline was awarded first place for our performance. This accomplishment was many years in development after getting third and second place for 3 years in a row. This achievement meant a lot to me and my peers at Edgewood, as it is one of the most major endeavors that Edgewood's music department has accomplished.
Of all the things I’ve ever experienced, being in the Blanche Ely Marching Band was the most meaningful. Growing up I couldn’t fathom the value of life’s intangible things, but my perspicacity grew when I made the decision to stay in the band. The most important lessons I learned while being in the band would be: the importance of resilience,
I have always looked to spend more time in music, so even with the challenges of marching band I have been the lead bassist for my school’s top jazz band all four years of my journey. Even with the time I spend in marching, I spend at least four hours a week creating music with my peers. In this I’ve not only been able to prove to myself that I can play, but I’ve also learned how to synergize with my fellow musicians to make something beautiful. I’ve been able to transfer this to my life outside of band through group projects and community service projects.
Sam Ortega, a junior here at Chino Hills High School, is a kind and hardworking student. While most kids feel uncertain about what they want from their future, Sam has a clear idea of where he sees himself and is working towards those goals even at sixteen years old. Being involved in activities on campus mirror his future goals. His role of co-Art Director of LGBT+ Club is preparing him to one-day work at an LGBT+ Youth Center, where he hopes to empower and protect LGBT+ youth. Sam is also a part of our world record holding Drumline, and over the years he has grown so much as a percussionist. He began Drumline in 8th grade, playing bells. He went on to play auxiliary as a sophomore, and timpani this year. Sam's love for music drives him, even
Not only am I the head drum major of my band, but I’m also the president of concert band, a member of the handbell choir (for three years), and apart of my school’s jazz band (for four years). I take this responsibility very seriously and try my best to aid my band director whenever I can. Besides band, I am a member of the school chorus (for two years), the women’s ensemble (for two years), my school’s chamber choir (for two years), and a community choir (for five years)! Music, ever since middle school, has been the driving force that’s kept me busy in life. While other students were bored in study hall, I always was able to resort to my band room to practice. In my high school career, I have had the honor to attend two (going on three) district band festivals and one (hopefully two) region band festivals. These opportunities have been nerve-wracking, yet extremely informing and exciting. My life as a musician has made me think differently on life and provided insight on
Standing backstage, mentally going through every measure of music for our performance, me and the other percussionists representing Prosper were about to play our three ensembles that we prepared for the North Texas Percussion Festival. With the group before us finishing their last song, we were all mentally preparing to show the judges the best of what we had spent hours practicing for after school and late into the night. Before we went on stage to set up everything, I thought of where I was just three years ago, not knowing how to properly hold mallets or work well with a group of people.
It doesn’t take a natural disaster or a death to alter the course of your life. It can be as small and simple as a choice—picking a class. My life was changed for the better when, in sixth grade, I chose to join the band. I remember vacillating, nearly in tears, over which instrument to learn before deciding to choose the flute, unaware that this decision would mold me through out my middle school and high school years. Band has taught me valuable life lessons and leadership skills, it has provided me with priceless friendships, and it has fostered a love of music in me. Without band I would not be the person I am today.
Brent’s music journey began in kindergarten, when he was introduced to the piano. He continued until fifth grade, until another opportunity arose. Band was offered to the sixth graders; an opportunity Brent couldn’t pass up. He began band with the desire to play the saxophone. Convinced otherwise by his mother, Brent switched to percussion. Nevertheless, he quickly recognized percussion was a better decision. “The mallet parts came easy to me, as they were similar to the piano,” Brent explained, “ It also had a greater variety than the other instruments offered.”
After changing into sweatpants and a tee shirt, I packed my band bag and ran down a hill to the open field where we practiced. I began to run my half-mile warm up, meanwhile the sharp October air burned my lungs. As I rounded the corner of my last lap, I saw the drum major beginning to circle the band members up for our daily core training. After 3 reps of pernicious core exercises, I felt that death was surely more pleasant than the current torture. The arduous training ended at 6:00 sharp. Time to start practice.