Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Band Plays On

In high school, band was a big part of my life. I did marching band, concert band, and pep band each year. I also did some jazz band and winter percussion. Each year, the pep band hosts an alumni night at one of the basketball games in January. This is a time for past Maconaquah band member and also alumni of other schools to get together to reconnect and share their love of music.

This year's alumni night was on Saturday. Being my first time as part of the alumni, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go home for the game. I had always gone before, but that was because I always knew that some of my friends would be there. Sure I still knew some of the current members, but it was still going to be different than it was before. My parents kept telling me that they thought it was a good idea for me to go. My mom even talked to the director, and he said to tell me that I had to be there. Finally I called home on Friday night for someone to come pick me up, so I could go to the game.

When I got to practice before the game, I was immediately greeted by some old friends. I was so excited to see them. I was glad that my parents had talked me into coming. Then I heard someone behind me calling my name. It was my section leader from my freshman year. She was the person that I was most excited to see. She had been someone for me to look up to during my 8th and 9th grade years. She had played the piccolo like me, and I wanted to be able to play as well as she did someday. With what she taught me during those years, I was able to take her place as the piccolo player after she graduated and also became section leader in my senior year.

The turnout that night was bigger than I expected. I think we had more alumni than I remember from any other year. After going over the songs that we would play during the game, we headed down to the teachers' lounge for some snacks and a trip down memory lane. Each year, the lounge is decorated with old pictures and memorabilia from the years gone by. This year, pictures from my graduating class were added. It was just a fun time to get to look through the pictures at how the group has changed over the years. There were even some pictures of my director's years in band.

It wasn't just my old band friends that I got to reconnect with that night. I was surprised to see a couple of my other friends that I graduated with. I got to talk with my friend, Kayla, who now plays basketball for Indiana University South Bend. Her brother still plays on the high school team, so she had come down to support him in his game. It was good to hear from her about how her season was going since I don't get to see her play anymore.

In all, I was glad that I got to participate on alumni night. If your school has a night like this, I would encourage you to go. If not, find a school around you that does. It's fun to go back and enjoy some of your old hobbies. You never realize how much things meant to you until you don't have them anymore.


Claripet said...

Band was a massive part of my life during high school too. I was in the marching band, Jazz bands, orchestra, and very competitive concert band and I truly miss those days. The bonds you form in band through practices, concerts, and festive gathers is immense and those are the friends that you will have and remember for many years.

So I’m glad that you were able to go back and see everyone! It’s really neat that your old section leader was there, I know when I see my section leader from middle school we both get a little crazy with reminiscing and catching each other up on our lives since then. It’s cool that your school provides this sort of event for their alumni, gives everyone a reason to go visit one another instead of just randomly dropping in to say hi, and you know other bandies are going to be there and that is bound to make anything interesting. Totally awesome that you went to something like this.

Are you playing in the bands down here? Marching or otherwise?