The Place Where I Belong

By , Overland Park, KS
A place where I belong is with the noises of instruments and feet shuffling across turf with the little beads of rubber flying every which way beneath my feet. No one is different, we are all the same. Wearing the same Viper marching shoes, black bibs, and red jackets with gradient gray and a silver sash. We carry instruments with the posture of sophisticated political officials, march with exaggerated technique, and play musically. Band isn’t about the individual; it’s about the group as a whole.

I am able to express my true self with the people in this group because no matter what they accept and respect you. Knowing that I’m a part of something bigger than myself gives me a sense of accomplishment and sincerity. When I walk out onto the field in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis and take in the fresh cold air circulating through the building I get a rush of adrenaline. Seeing the 12,000 people in the stands to watch the exhilarating fifteen minute shows filled with dramatic tensions and impact points. Hearing the screams as the lead snare drummer starts tapping the cadence to begin the preshow and the judging, there’s nothing like it.

Snap! Snap! Snap! This is the sound that gets my blood racing and my feet in time moments before the competition starts. The band and I do our robotic visual body and begin the show, going through these motions and movements create a place for me to fit like a puzzle piece into a puzzle. Pushing through the pain of holding a heavy instrument up above head level for 10 minutes straight and playing like my life depends on it give me a feeling like no other at the end. I can tell everyone feels the same; it’s what we spend over 100 hours of labor through the heat, cold, and rain for, 10 minutes to show the judges what we’ve got. It takes stamina, strength, perseverance, and heart to do what we do and it only works if we are functional like a family.

Being a part of the Red and Silver Brigade has allowed me to be myself in ways I never thought existed, I am a better person, student, and leader because of it. Having a place where I belong makes me feel like I can freely express myself without any judgment, whether it be about wrong decisions, bad singing, or showing weakness there’s always someone there to help. This is the place where I belong.





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