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Room at the End of the Hallway This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Walking up the long hallway, jutting out of the main walkway, the echo of the band flows throughout. Whether beautiful melodies or horrid wrong notes, I am always eager to get to band.

I play the French horn. My instrument is a long tubing of brass and painted on gold, with a few dents everywhere, and a big bell at the end. The long tubing would usually lead to a deep sound; however, the tubing swirls round and round producing a pleasant sound to the ear.

When it comes time to learn the new music, there is a sense of stillness in the room. Comments and questions always are asked and made: “Is the music too hard?” “I love this song!” “Is it more than one page?” Once we have received the music, everyone begins to play away, trying to figure out the general idea of the song. Our director yells, “Watch out for time signature, key, accidentals, or if any change happens during the song!” Next are the rehearsals.

For some of our rehearsals, we use sectionals; that’s when the band splits into little groups of instruments that play the same parts. We mostly use sectionals as a way to get our part better so that when the whole band is together our section is able to play our part. After sectionals everyone comes back together, and we rehearse to get better. If a section still isn’t playing its part well enough, our conductor will stop us and yell at that section: “What were you guys doing the whole time?” She then proceeds to help them work through their parts to make it sound beautiful.

Next, we learn the formations of the show. We are each handed a packet, showing the moves that we have to make; we look page by page to make sure we understand how to do it. Everyone goes out on the field to his or her starting point, and we go page by page, doing the moves all together; we continue to do this until everyone knows it well enough to do the formations to the song. We then practice playing the song and marching until the night of the show.

It finally comes Friday, the day of our show, and we are given a call time, which is when we are suppose to be back to the band room to get ready for the show. Occasionally, our call time is early, so we just stay after school until it is time. Usually around 5:15 is when she makes it, so we can go home and eat and prepare to go back. When it is time, we go out to the field and practice a little; then we head back inside. After that we put on our old 80’s blue and gold uniforms and hats with a massive fluffy plume on top.

Depending on if the game is away, we will get on the bus and go to the other school. When we are on the busses, the freshman sit on one bus with the instruments, and everyone else sits on the other bus. The bus that I sit on is the one with sophomores, juniors, and seniors. We call this bus “The Mullet.” The people who sit in the front are nice and calm, and the kids who sit in the back are rowdy and outrageous like the saying, “Business in the front; party in the back.”

If the game is home, after getting ready we will head out to the field to perform the pregame. During pregame we head onto the field, playing our school’s fight song. Next, we play “Hang on Sloopy” and “Let’s Go Blue.” After that we play the “National Anthem.” Then the band heads into the stands to play during the game.

Close to half time, we get everything around to play our show. All put on their hats and gloves, make sure they have the music, and get their uniforms on. As we march out onto the field, the blazing lights hit my eyes, and I feel as if everyone has a sense of excitement and a hint of nerves. As we play, I can hear the roar from the stands, clapping and cheering as we finish our songs. It brings relief to know that they enjoyed our show. After the show our conductor allows us to have the third quarter to go to the concession stands and use the restroom. Then it is fourth quarter, and we have to play in the stands again. After a long night of playing, we head back to the school.

Finally, to finish off the season, our last show is our senior show, which is to honor our seniors. Every time it gets to this show, I know that a new addition will begin next year, but it is always so hard for me to let them leave. What is even worse is that next year will be my senior year, and I know that I won’t only be leaving the band and friends, but I will be leaving a family that I will miss so much.





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