The Marching Instruments as Awkward Senior Portraits

piccolo:  the shell-shocked (couldn’t hear the photographer count down over ringing in their ears)

flutes:  the i’m-trying-too-hard

clarinets:  the pikachu

bass clarinets:  the “maybe now you’ll remember i exist, fuckers”

any of the saxophones: the sex god

trumpets:  the “hot shit”

mellophones:  the cat photo

trombones:  the i-forgot-about-senior-portraits-until-the-day-they-were-due-to-the-yearbook-so-i-had-my-friend-take-this-outside-five-minutes-ago

euphoniums/baritones/tubas:  the what-the-fuck

pit percussion:  the my-instrument-is-my-child pose

drum line:  the casually-holding-a -deadly-weapon

color guard:  the dance costume

drum major: the ruler of all things music

How the Section Leaders Send Band Camp Reminders
  • flutes:you receive a text in the group message: "in case you didn't get my 7 emails, 20 other texts, and 3 letters, the first day of band camp is tomorrow! be there twenty minutes early so we can have a mini sectional! practice tonight! :) :) :)"
  • clarinets:the section leader's snapchat story is a picture of squidward emblazoned with the date and time of band camp. you feel as if you are being mocked.
  • saxophones:a group text that reminds you all to bring your two dollars for pizza. you ignore it and decide to bring an expired coupon instead and then act confused when questioned.
  • trumpets:a text that reads "the rarest pepe will be in the band room tomorrow at 8. do not miss this opportunity."
  • mellos:none of you send a reminder because you all think someone else is the section leader. actually, the director accidentally chose one of the trumpets as your section leader. a trumpet who graduated.
  • trombones:wait, WHAT started this morning??
  • tubas/euphs:you haven't heard from your section leader in two weeks since they called you at two am and whispered "macaroni" into the phone for no apparent reason.
  • drumline:section leader sneaks into your house and leaves a broken drumhead under your pillow. written on it in sharpie is the threatening message "bring your own water tomorrow u freeloading fuck".
  • pit:do you even have a section leader? are YOU the section leader? shit!
  • guard:you don't need a reminder! who do they think you are, the trombones??
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To the football player who decided that it'd be appropriate to flip off the marching band kids on their /three minute/ water break;

I don’t think you have any idea how hard we work. This whole week, we’ve been in constant pain, either from sunburns, calves, neck straps, mental frustration, shoulder cramps, or sore faces. We’ve carried instruments anywhere from three, to sixty pounds for hours. We’ve carried flags the size of ourselves, and spun them until we’ve pulled muscles in our arms and shoulders. We’ve memorized music from ink splotches on paper. We’ve marched around tracks screaming ‘Left! Left!’ until our vocal cords were aching. We’ve measured out step sizes to centimeters, and rolled our feet till they blister. And, we’ll be doing it for the next four months.

We’ve made so much progress that what, on Sunday, was a jumble of notes is now Detroit Rock City, and Shout It Out Loud. Yeah, we have a long way to go. We’ve only made a little bit of progress, even though we’ve spent 12+ hours out in the blistering heat, and we’ll spend much more in the months to come.

So, yeah, make fun at the marching band kids. Flip them off and laugh at them, tell them that what they do isn’t a 'real’ sport; you’ll surely be hilarious with your friends. You’ll never realize just how much work goes into a five-minute show, or a simple concert piece. It’ll never register how amazing it is when Judges call your school for winners in competitions.

Real professional. You’re making a wonderful name for yourselves.