Today is Finis Sparkman‘s funeral, so it’s the unfortunate day that his family, friends, and beloved drum corps will ever see him again. We at Marching Band Memes# would like to say that we have Finis ‘ family, friends, and fellow corps members in our thoughts (and prayers for those team members who are religious). I know personally that it isn’t easy to lose someone and to have a hole on the field will do nothing but be a reminder of the unfortunate truth of what has happened in the past. Those who I know that currently march and previously marched Music City, you guys are strong and this challenge is just the biggest of them all, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel discouraged because of it. Let this be what pushes you to be better and achieve more than ever.
Rest In Peace Finis Sparkman!
~TubaPresident - Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps Alumni
Hey everyone! So as the school year is coming to an end, marching season is beginning. This of course means band camp! Whether you’re a rookie or a returner, it’s always nice to know what you’re getting into and have some reminders.
1. WATER! Drink LOTS of water! This is probably the most important thing. Stay hydrated, drink water every chance you get, because you’re going to be out in the hot sun on the turf all day. Most people bring those big water jugs, make sure you drink AT LEAST one of those in a day, two would be even better. Drink a lot at night too so you’re hydrated in the morning too.
2. Sleep! You’re gonna be exhausted at the end of each day, so make sure you take care of yourself and get the sleep you need to stay healthy during camp. I know I went to my drum major’s house and fell asleep during dinner break last year XD You want to have the energy you need, which is gonna be a lot, so don’t be staying up till 1 or 2 am watching netflix if you know you have vis block at 7 am.
3. For my trans and nonbinary friends, DO NOT bind during band camp! Trust me, I am in the same boat with this one. As much as I know you want to pass, it’s not safe or healthy to bind in those conditions. You’ll restrict your breathing at a time when it matters most. I know it’s gonna suck, but your health and safety is more important.
4. Don’t blow your chops out! Sometimes you really wanna practice, or over practice, but trust me if this happens you won’t be helping yourself. You wanna be able to come to camp every day ready to play your best, and you won’t be able to do that if you over played the day before. Know you’re limits and recovery time, especially for all you lead trumpets.
5. Eat. Whether you’re in drum corps or a high school band, you all need to eat. This goes along with sleep and water, but you need the energy. If you go jazz running around the field in 100 degrees whether with no food in your stomach, you’re gonna throw up or pass out. Stay healthy and take care of your body and make sure you’re getting the nutrients and protein your body needs for an activity like this.
6. When it comes to health and safety, just know your limits. If you’re not feeling great, sit out. You director will understand. Your health always comes first. And if something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to tell someone. Also, I know a lot of people have injuries. Make sure you don’t push those. Wear the knee brace or the elbow brace, wrap your ankle, do whatever you can to help yourself and sit out if it hurts. Don’t push yourself too far.
7. Now that the health and safety stuff has been addressed, social interaction! A lot of you rookies may go in not knowing people, and I understand how scary that can be. Take it from someone who couldn’t even talk to the two girls marching next to me for the entirety of band camp, it’s so much better if you just talk to them. Talk to other freshmen, talk to your section leaders and drum majors, talk to the upperclassmen! We want to get to know you too, and we know it’s hard at first. Band camp is the beginning of a great journey and you’ll make so many friends, you have nothing to be worried about.
8. DON’T LOSE YOUR DOT SHEETS OR MUSIC!!! Seriously. If you lose them, we have to go to the band room and make copies, then you’re behind because you didn’t have all the materials. It makes it easier on everyone if you keep track of everything. It’s also good to show that you’re responsible.
9. Listen to your techs, section leaders, and drum majors. They know what they’re talking and they were put into their positions for a reason. If they tell you you need to fix something or to stop messing around, listen. They’re doing what’s best for you and the band. You learn so much from them too, take every opportunity you get when they give you tips for improvement.
10. HAVE FUN! Like I said earlier, band camp is just the beginning. Do things with your friends! Go out for lunch or dinner together, get to know everyone, have a little fun with your rehearsals. A lot of schools do games at band camp and get into it! It’s so fun to just relax and goof around with people. Do things with your section, talk to people. Just have a good time! These people are gonna become your family and give you an amazing experience.
Bonus (11). A lot of people are reblogging this and adding SUNSCREEN! I cant believe I forgot that haha but yes! Sunscreen is super important! Even if you don’t burn easily, wear it! Reapply every 1-2 hours if I’m being honest. Getting burned sucks!
•Will you be in a duet with me?
•Will you be the harmony to my melody?
•Will you blow my horn?
•Wanna learn some new fingerings?
•Will you be the drum to my major?
•Wanna get picco-low?
•Will you be my first chair?
This is the story of a kid who had no idea what they were getting into. But it’s also more than just that. They went to band day in seventh grade and got to play pep band with the local high school. It was amazing, and they fell in love immediately. How could they not? The high school had such an amazing show and treated them great. Two years later, this kid started high school and was so excited for marching band. They were shy and timid, but still excited. Throughout their first season, they dealt with so many things. They dealt with anxiety, depression, devastation, and disappointment. But they also woke up.
What this kid ended up realizing was the importance of marching band, why it really mattered, and the great things to come out of it.
Marching band is not just a group of kids running around with instruments on the field. It’s musicians who are coming together to do something they love. Music is something that fills us all with passionate emotion that nothing else can. Being able to make something like that is amazing. But then add in a physical aspect. You have a story to tell now. You have formations and movements and a color guard and props and suddenly band is so much more.
The time commitment required for marching band is greater than any extra curricular besides maybe football. Hours upon hours are spent on the field, running the same set, the same music over and over. Revising and relearning and reinventing over and over. You’re constantly improving and constantly pushing yourself. Band is an every day thing. Musicians put in hours of practice on and off the field, they have to physically train themselves, and they work so hard. Harder than anyone gives them credit for.
Over this time, all the rehearsals, the late night practices, the early morning rehearsals, the time consuming fundraisers, you grow closer with your band mates than you could have imagined. You spend hours working with them, joking with them, creating something amazing with them, and then you get to your first competition and you perform with them. That’s when you know it’s worth it. And all the late night bus rides and singing your show and falling asleep watching the lights flash by is something you could never forget. Marching band becomes a family. It’s full of people who will be there for you quicker than you could snap to attention.
Through all of this you make the most amazing memories, but you also grow the most.
You become stronger as a person. You learn more about yourself, you learn your limits. You learn to push them. You learn to go farther than you’re comfortable with. Marching band is more than just an extra curricular, it’s a home, a place of growth, a safe haven.
So this kid ended up changing so much. They were pushed farther than they had ever been before. They went from being that depressed, anxious, shy, and confused kid to a confident and outgoing leader. They figured out their passions and met their family. They finally found a home they knew was right.