Mourning the end of the march

Every day was the same this past fall. After a long, hard day of school, it just felt good to be able to let the stress of the day vanish with some band time. marching band, that is.

Marching band was the best part of my freshman year so far. It was fun, a little confusing at times, but that’ll happen when you’re a “little” freshman trying to learn the steps, marks, and chants that you don’t yet understand. As a novice, you get nervous on that first game day. You’re worried that you’ll make a mistake, be out of tune, or forget the routine, but it didn’t take me long to realize that all of that nervousness and confusion was worth it.

When you march alongside the field, dealing with whatever nature throws at you – be it rain, snow, or shine – it feels awesome because people are cheering. Granted, that might have been for the football team, but still, it feels awesome.

You play every note with perfect execution and toneokay, maybe often just one or the other. You master the art of the classic “marching band hand motions” that go with almost every cadence the drumline plays, and most importantly, you nail the cheers and chants that leave you unable to speak for days.

Yes, I truly loved every part of marching band (even the parts that were rough at the time such as marching in the rain), but marching band is over now. In fact, it has been for quite a while. There’s still pep band, but to me, it’s like trying to eat an orange to stop a craving for an apple. It’s not the same. There’s no “parade rest,” “mark time,” or “ten hut,” no marching through the halls of the school, no randomly singing drumline cadences in the middle of classwait, I still do that. We can’t wear our uniforms, or the awesome “cowboy hats” that hurt my head. I guess I am a die-hard marching bander. I need those songs, those cadences, and the odd hand motions that are almost like inside jokes because anyone who isn’t in marching band doesn’t understand what it’s about.

Some people ask me about marching band, “what’s so fun about marching band, all you do is play an instrument and march in random formations.” To be truthful, no one has actually asked me that, but that doesn’t matter because I still have an answer: to me, marching band is fun because you get to march in random formations, play an instrument, and be awesome! And, what do most students do? They sit in the stands and eat popcorn while watching boys run at each other in tights. I feel my form of entertainment is much better.

Marching band is a part of who I am. So, maybe for now it’s all over, but I can assure that next year you’re gonna see me in the brass section, probably dodging the odd trombone slide every now and then, and helping make each halftime show something you won’t want to miss.

Editor’s note: Theresa Hermann, 14, is a freshman at Marquette Senior High School. She is a member of the 8-18 Media Senior Team and she plays trumpet in the high school band. In her spare time she likes to write and make movies. She is a daughter of James and Gail Hermann. 8-18 Media is a youth journalism program of the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum. Through the program, teams of kids write news stories and commentaries on issues important to youth and about any good, or bad, things youth are up to. For more information call 906-226-7874, or email at