By Cassandra Nicole Austin
Inspiration comes differently to each individual person. It can come from great displays of fantastic artistry or simply something that you find on the street outside of your house. It can strike at any moment in any place and time. Though sometimes weíre prepared for it, I find that it oftentimes strikes when we least expect itófor instance, how music first entered into my life. I wonít go into details, but I will say that I was basically pushed forcefully and against my will into band in middle school and high school. Although I went kicking and screaming, I now realize that they were the best decisions that Iíve ever made in my life.
Itís hard to explain to someone whoís not in music the inner workings of a band geekís mind. Itís just something that you have to experience for yourself. Itís a feeling that you get deep in the pit of your stomach. It makes your heart beat faster and your eyes water with emotion. Itís a tingling sensation that starts in the bottom of your toes and rises all the way to the top of your head. I think that band is such a hard thing to explain because itís a combination of so many different things. Itís one big mix of pride, after having worked so hard to reach for something, and the excitement you feel when you finally achieve it.
In our band, weíve had excellence pounded into our brains from the very start. Nothing is finished until it is perfect. Iíve heard this from every single one of my band directors multiple times over the years. Back before I entered the high schoolís marching band, Iíll admit that I was satisfied with being mediocre. I worked off of what natural talent I had and used band as somewhat of a free period in my schedule. However, since working with some of the best directors and other musical people in the country, Iíve had the need to achieve perfection embedded in my mind. I canít be satisfied with something unless my entire heart and soul have been put into it, and it finally achieves perfection. Our bandís motto is: ďLove for band family, passion for excellence and achievement.Ē I think that this correctly describes what band stands for and the place that it holds in my heart.
Band inspires me to reach higher until whatever Iím working on has achieved perfection. Through hard work and determination, I can do whatever I want. I know that all of those times when I was forced out of my comfort zone to join band-related activities, my life took a turn for the better. Music has literally changed my life. Iím a whole different person since Iíve been in the marching band. It has inspired me to always do my best, work hard and continually reach for the stars until I can achieve greatness.
Halftime Magazine®, a bimonthly print publication and online community, presents the sights, sounds and spirit of the marching arts, providing education, entertainment and inspiration for students, directors, alumni and fans of high school marching band, college marching band, drum corps, color guard and winter guard, indoor drum line or percussion, and all-age ensembles.
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