Small Town Band
Right about the time I started to learn how to play an instrument, Small Town hired a young, right out of undergrad school man. To say he was amazing is an understatement. He was tough...he scared the bijeezuz out of me! I think we were all in awe of him. He demanded respect, and respect was what he got.
To hear some of the "oldtimers" tell it, the band was pretty incredible when he came into the picture...I think he just took it to a different level. The band had a huge tradition, and the Small Town was known for its band.
Band was such a big part of my high school life: the band camps, the football games, the competitions. At one of our competitions, it was raining and the wind was blowing. The stadium was like a big bowl magnet for the wind. A trombone player lost his shoe. One of the rifles tossed her rifle and it hit her eye, but she kept on marching. At another competition there was a tornado warning, and the competition had to be moved to a nearby small university (that just happened to be my future school) because they had a "mini-dome".
And the band trips! Disney World was always the best! (We won't even talk about the sucky trip to the Bahamas my senior year.)
The downfall of the band actually began when I was in high school, after the band director left. When I moved back to the Small Town, there were 18 people in the band. EIGHTEEN. Our first year back, there was a new band director: a young, right out of undergrad school man. At the rival football game (which was at the Rival School), they actually marched at halftime. Apparently that was the first time in years that had happened. You have to understand the rival football game. We're talking over 10,000 people packed into the stadium. And, there are these scared, little high schoolers marching onto the field. They had to feel like they were being thrown to the wolves. What happened as they took the field gave me chills...and a tear or 2 may have filled my eyes. The home side (which was the rival's side) not only clapped, but gave them a standing ovation. That same band director is still here, and the band has grown to around 50. YS was in the band, and it was so amazing to see him experience the same things I did. His senior band trip was also to the Bahamas, but they did it right: on a cruise.