My Nerdy Band Days

11 May

Through the power of the interwebs, I recently found out that my high school band director is retiring after this school year.  For those of you who don’t know, I was a MAJOR band nerd through middle and high school.  And heck, let’s face it, I continued for about 5 years after graduation.

My middle school band director was Mr. Pierce.  He didn’t really like me, which I just didn’t understand.  I never turned in my ‘practice sheets’ and yet always knew my parts and could play them flawlessly.  I think that ticked him off.  I’m sure he just knew I was good, but could have been SO much better if I had just practiced.  And the thing is, I did practice – just not as much as I probably should have.

When it was time to ship off to high school, I knew that I would still be in the band program in some capacity.  Little did I know that it would basically define my entire high school experience.  It all started with band camp that happened the two weeks before actual classes started.  And no, there are no ‘this one time at band camp’ stories.  We worked on music.  That’s the extent of it all.

My first year of high school marching band, I was going to play the flute.  However, the band had about a million flutes and zero color guard members, so I was suckered into joining the guard.  Oh, how I regret that.  At any rate, after marching band season was over there was a posting in the band room asking for people to come audition for the winter percussion ensemble.  I thought that sounded like fun, and had secretly always wanted to play the drums.

And with that, my percussion career began.  My first year playing was in 1996, and my illustrious (ha!) career ended in 2003 aging out with the Santa Clara Vanguard.

I have high school band (and Mr L.) to thank for the experiences that I had.  Without seeing that posting on the band room chalk board, I never would have auditioned for the percussion ensemble, and never would have made it as far as I did in music.  While music isn’t my career now, I owe a lot of my work ethic and personal strength to my time in music.

For my children, I hope they truly enjoy and appreciate music.  I hope they play instruments and explore all of their talent.  I will be in the audience for every single recital and concert, cheering them on.  It’s payback for all the concerts my Mom had to endure.  🙂


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