Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I marched my band in...

I didn't get in my run this evening. I attended an event to support the local High School Band. I wanted desperately to get home and go run despite the late night and upcoming early morning, but I know my limits... and I'm there. Although exhausted from the long hours of this day, I am happy. Yes, simply happy and it isn't from a runner's high. It's from satisfaction.

I couldn't be excited for this evening's event. Over the past ten years, seeing my former band in disrepair was heartbreaking. For those who know of the O'Fallon High School Band, you understand my pain. The Ambassadors of our City, the pride of the town, our Band was larger than life, especially to those of us that built it. To see the size dwindle, the sound diminish, the pride crushed, it has been simply... sad.  

Tonight, I can truly say I am excited. I am proud. The band took the stage, the symphonic, the orchestra, percussion ensembles, it just went on and on... and I can say I am amazed and inspired.

The final touch, and the reason for my attendance anyway, was to see my former, now retired, Band Director take the stage and direct the young students in the final march of the evening. Of course it was sweet and touching, but I'm sure to many of those students on stage it was simply some strange old guy directing them. When he took the podium, it only signified the end of a long night. To us, young students, you were sitting in our dream seat. We too, at one time, thought it was simply the end to a long evening. We now realize that every time he stepped onto that podium for us, it was one of the best nights of our lives. The nights where we grew, and loved, and learned all in one moment. It is the moment you make music, when you are are a part of something larger than yourself, greater than the space you fill. You learn to trust, to share, to help, to be a part of a family. Not just some old guy took that podium for you tonight. An incredible teacher, leader, mentor stood before you... in taking that podium for 30 years of his life, he changed the world. I was one of a lucky few who got to study under that star, to live in the light of that sun. And my world was changed... 

Thank you, Mr. C, for changing our lives, specifically for changing mine. Thank you for all the memories of laughter, for growing our hearts and minds through music. You gave me the greatest family I could ever wish for through this band. 

And to those young students on that stage, amazing us with their talent under a new star, I hope you cherish these long nights. You'll have longer ones in your future, but few will be so sweet. 

A band is a family, no matter how old you grow or how far you roam. Family means no one is left behind, or forgotten. So welcome young siblings, to the path of Ambassadors, to the Hall of Fame, to the top of your field, you now live in the glory days of band.

In happiness,


  1. I really hope Mr C. realizes what he was to all of us. I wish I could have been there. Danielle

  2. So well said Beth!!! Even though I branched off from the family early...I've never forgotten what it meant. I wish I could have been there last night too :)