By Desiree E.
The Northridge Marching Band is not as perfect as we seem. With fifty band members this year, it was quite terrifying to try and uphold our standard of quality. Prior to the 2016 season we graduated thirteen amazing players that left a lasting impact on the band. Individually, they were all good players but as a whole they sounded overwhelmingly amazing. Once you join band, it kind of just becomes your second family without knowing it. You start to rely on people and or become enemies with them like sibling rivalry. Everyone will have a problem with someone at some point whether they like it or not. In the end we get along since we all have the same goal, which is to get better and be successful and to be the best band we could possibly be together. The thirteen of them plus the rest of the band equaled the glorious part. The process of being glorious literally took a lot of aching, a lot of sweat, and definitely tears. Which was a pretty messy process of getting better and being productive.
Marching without stretching first is a dangerous choice. If you pull a muscle, you are done for. You can also miss so much information in such a short amount of time just healing by the sidelines. Marching Band isn't just like any other sport where in practices, you just run laps or do squats. That is only a small part of actual practice.
The actual practice starts with getting to the right spot on the field. With timing and the right amount of steps to make our travel to our spots look clean and precise. A big part about marching is rolling our feet. We stick our heel out and toes reach far back toward our shins. If you then roll it forward we look like we're moon walking forward. Smooth transitions are what judges like to see. The only thing that should be moving as we march are our legs and feet. Our torso and upper body should be as still as a statue, facing the crowd and looking at the field commander. Our facial expressions are also important. We pretty much always have poised, engaged faces. We are allowed to smile during the competition show once in awhile but only if we are told. It feels pretty weird to smile on the field since we don't normally. The only people that are allowed, rather required to smile are the members of color guard.
The Color Guard is a completely different group. They are the visual representation of the emotions and ideas within our sound. They are what the band can't show and those are expressions and feelings. They move with rhythm in their bodies and have their flags for support. Their dance and movement to the band's music combines to create an amazing show. They continue to smile even if they don't want to. This is true performance. They represent the music visually. They display vibrant colors on their silks as they flow through the air with grace. Without the guard, the band wouldn't be nearly as successful.
In the end,the mess that we have to go through with each other becomes worth it because we are given opportunities and chances to get better and to become the incredibly close-knit, high-achieving band that we are now.
Desiree E. is an 11th grade french horn player in the concert band. Desiree also plays mellophone in the marching band and pep band, and she plays trumpet in the jazz band. Desiree is an active member of the choir program and is also a student athlete.