Reaching Higher

Carmel (Ind.) High School
Second Place in the MGM Halftime Magazine “Claim Your FAME” Essay Contest

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 we’re prepared for it, I find that it oftentimes strikes when we least expect it—for instance, how music first entered into my life. I won’t 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 I’ve ever made in my life.

It’s hard to explain to someone who’s not in music the inner workings of a band geek’s mind. It’s just something that you have to experience for yourself. It’s a feeling that you get deep in the pit of your stomach. It makes your heart beat faster and your eyes water with emotion. It’s 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 it’s a combination of so many different things. It’s 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, we’ve had excellence pounded into our brains from the very start. Nothing is finished until it is perfect. I’ve heard this from every single one of my band directors multiple times over the years. Back before I entered the high school’s marching band, I’ll 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, I’ve had the need to achieve perfection embedded in my mind. I can’t be satisfied with something unless my entire heart and soul have been put into it, and it finally achieves perfection. Our band’s motto is: “Love for band family, passion for excellence and achievement.” 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 I’m 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. I’m a whole different person since I’ve 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.

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Regional Marching Band Events

Regionals – March/April 2011

A listing of marching events: major competitions, shows and conferences, by region. From March to May 2011. From Halftime Magazine, a print publication for the ...