The MMHS Marching Band Experience

Submitted by tyler.lewis on Fri, 10/04/2013 - 13:01

Drum majors Bryan Ridge and Caden Mustoe hurry to their positions as the marching band stands at attention, a field full of statues waiting for the moment when Caden lifts his hands and they are freed from this stationary state. The show begins.

This is a scene that is repeated at each show and competition, as the marching band performs the 2013 show “Uprising Of Angels.” Countless hours have been spent perfecting each movement, carefully shaping each form and perfecting every note. Each member of the band gives at least 6 hours a week at after school rehearsals, and much more time is spent at competitions or personal rehearsals.

You may wonder why they choose to do this. What makes marching around in the hot sun for 3 days a week a desirable activity? For some, it’s simply because older siblings did it, and they followed tradition. Bryan Ridge and Kira Mosdell say that after watching their older siblings participate in marching band, they felt compelled to do the same.

“My sister did it, so I kind of wanted to too,” Bryan says.

Parallel to this Kira also explains, “My older brother did it, and I thought it would be fun to be part of marching band because I would just watch them do it. I thought it would be something fun to do!”

Following in the footsteps of family members isn’t the only reason so many students decide to dedicate so much to marching band. For many participants it’s the people within the band that make all the hard work worth it.

Marching band isn’t just a group of friends who meet after school; it’s a family and support system. For new sophomores like Rachel Smith, starting high school with a circle of friends is just what they were looking for. “This is my first year at high school and I decided marching band would be a good way to meet friends,” Rachel explained when asked what made her join marching band the summer before her sophomore year.

Band members Bridger Bird, Kartika Heikkila, Caden Mustoe, Aleta Faust and Bryan Ridge all agree that the people in marching band is what compels them to march every day. Caden Mustoe said it best when he explained, “I feel like all these questions are going to come back to the people, because, well I hate to say it, but it's true. I'm serving the people. I'm with the people. I am the people.”

Friendships formed in marching band are some of the strongest you’ll find, and like most extra-curricular activities, each member agrees that it's the people you’re with who motivate you to keep going when you want to give up. Being part of the MMHS marching band requires a person to focus outside of oneself, to work with those around you, to give everything you have and more, to never give up, and to serve your fellow band members. It isn’t just about walking around with an instrument. It’s about having pride for your school, for your peers, for yourself and for everything for which you stand.

Marching band doesn’t just help you become a better musician, it helps you gain leadership and team skills, it teaches you discipline and dedication, it educates you in humility and patience, and, above all, it makes you a better person. The students in marching band say that the traits learned are things that help them in all areas of their life, from academics to family life, and the skills learned have the potential to build you into a better person in every area.

So, what makes marching band worth it? The satisfaction of completing a competition? Or is it the life-long friendships you make? Whatever the reason, every member of the band agrees that the price paid is worth the rewards. Like Mr. Wilson always says, “Did you get your oranges worth?” 

Story by Aleta Faust. Photos by Rachel Christensen.