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Wicked Blue Pirates from Space
"Come on people, it's not that tough!!!" I hear Victor yell once again from the top of the football bleachers.
It's my final year at band camp, and we still can't make a diagonal right. We've been trying to fix this mess of a line for what seems like ages. This diagonal will never be as straight as it should be. We could never make a diagonal. Or even a straight line. I remember my freshman year...
"Alex, Kaitie, Brittany!!! Move the other way!" Carrie yelled to us from the front of the line.
Carrie had told us at the beginning of my first day of band camp, "Hi, I'm Carrie, your section leader, and senior. I advise you listen to me."
I was the only flute from my middle school. I didn't know any of the other freshmen in my section. I was lost, and I kept very quiet. I was a scared little freshman. Mr. Victor, our band director, scared me the most. Or so I thought, Carrie turned out to be worse than Victor.
During my freshman year of band, our field show consisted of these songs from the musical, Wicked; "Defying Gravity," "Dancing Through Life," "For Good," "No Good Deed," and "No One Morns the Wicked." Three songs, three shows, about twenty-five minutes of playing and marching at the same time. Something I've never done.
My first year of band camp was awful. Nobody told me we'd be marching for three solid hours straight. Our drum major's name was Ryan. She would never yell at us if we screwed up a move. She would just make us do it over. Carrie, on the other hand, would yell and cuss at us to move to the right spot. Carrie tried and tried to get each move perfect. It never happened. Kaitie, Brittany, and I would all end up somewhere else, instead of where we were supposed to. Our diagonals, straight lines, and curves just didn't look like they were supposed to. Oh, and we had to glide step. A glide step is a type of marching style; we bring our toes up, and roll our feet. Victor even showed us how one time.
"This is how you glide step." Victor would always say, and then he would do an almost perfect glide step......
"Alex, your glide step is amazing, good work. It only took you four years to finally get it right." Victor had told me during my senior year of band camp.
Ever since he told me that, I tried my hardest to remember to glide step.
Sophomore year though, as I recall, was the worst. You would think that after a year of band, you would know what to do.......
"Band horns up!" Matt yelled to us on the football field.
"And up!" was our immediate reply.
Getting ready to play the music to my favorite movie should be fun, right? Ha, guess again. I mean, I love Pirates of the Caribbean as much as the next person, but marching and playing it? It's like trying to walk on a broken ankle. Hard and few people can do it. Marching with our horns up at a specific angle. Flutes parallel; trumpets, baritone, and trombones have to have their bells to the football stands; saxophones and clarinets have to keep their heads up with their horns slightly extended out away from their bodies. Our feet have to keep in time, and we have to glide step the entire show. Rather, we should, but most of us don't because it's the last thing on any of our minds. Keeping our heads up and eyes on the drum major at all times. If Victor caught one of us with our heads down, we'd get yelled at. Playing our part loudly so we can be heard, and playing the part correctly are the two most important parts. If we can't play the music, then what's the point of a field show? All of this can drive a person insane. Of course, joining the Seneca High School Marching Irish is insane all in itself. To top it all off, we have random changing tempos that we have to glide step to, and keep our straight lines. There's no possible way we can do it.
It's pretty cool when we attempt to make a pirate ship, but we are absolutely terrible at lines. Whether it is diagonal, curvy, or even straight. We can't even make a circle that's supposed to be a moon. At the end of band camp, we should be able to do all of this in front of our parents. We can't even march the third song, let alone the first two. Well, all we can do is try our best. I doubt we'll even remember half the show by the time school starts......
I remember last year, when we tried to make the Enterprise. We were god awful at keeping our lines together so it would look like it. Just like we are now. Brings back memories.....
"BAND! SHUT UP AND LISTEN! WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO BE SCREWING AROUND! WE GOTTA LEARN THIS SHOW!!" Sammi, our "band mom" and drum major, yells to us on the field. It's scary how much Sammi sounds like Victor now.
She did have a point. We had already lost a day because the school didn't have power after a huge storm. Not like anyone really cared considering it was July and we didn't have school.
"Let's run the first song from the top! Let's move it!" Sammi yells to us.
Run freshman! That means run! I think to myself, running to my own spot in the front and center of the field. Where everyone can see me. Great, I think. I'm gonna screw up and everyone's gonna be able to see me. Of course, this is just to scare myself into doing well.
When we get to the spot where we attempt to form the Enterprise from Star Trek, we are lost. Completely and utterly lost, we all look like a bunch of penguins in Mazon.
Mazon is my small hometown, where if you've never been through it, you could easily get lost, that's how small it is.
The lines aren't straight, our curves stink, and virtually none of us are glide stepping. Come on guys! We can do this! Let's move it! I yell out, as I run back to the beginning of the song. This is gonna be a long year. I think to myself as we start to march again......
"ERIC STAY WHERE YOU ARE! YOU'RE A POINT! DON'T MOVE!" Vic yells across the field, louder than I've ever heard him.
It's always the same diagonal we have trouble with. The huge diagonal that includes, the alto saxophones, the tenor saxophones, the bari saxophones, percussion, and the flutes. I'm a point, and so is the alto player, Eric, who Vic was yelling at. Everyone has to line up between us so I can't see Eric, and Eric can't see me. That never happens, ever. Kody Applebee and Zach Huffman are the only ones I've seen that attempt to line up with us. The flutes can't even line up with me, and they're right next to me. We came close once, and then, BAM! It's gone again.
Playing the Blues Brothers is amazing. "I Can't Turn You Loose/Soul Man," "Flip, Flop, and Fly," "Soul Finger," and "Think/I Can't Turn You Loose," are amazing songs. We all (well, most of us) know the music, and we all know the movements. Like the famous Vic always says, "come on people, it's not that tough." It really isn't, the show is fun, and we get to dance in the middle of a song. Mr. Hardin, our other band director, wrote the whole field show for us. He's a crazy guy; with crazy moves, like our triangles and squares that move in a circle. Lydia, our new drum major, is amazing. She can call us to attention with a clap of her hands. She conducts quite nicely, and it's always easy to look up at her and watch her arms for the tempo of the song.
I think that this year, being my senior year, is the best. I've learned a lot from band. Thirteen songs and shows I never knew before, and at least a hundred people I never would dream of being friends with. I've learned throughout the years, many things from Victor. From how to glide step correctly, to how to make an actual diagonal. Band helped me get through everything. No matter what happens, and no matter how many times you get yelled at, the music is always there for you. So you can listen to the Wicked Blue Pirates from Space or just a simple song if you can't handle that.