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March to the Field
You will never look at gold the same way again.
It shouts to you, raises its voice like
you have ever heard before. The smooth,
Bright complexion lay silent (for
now) on its frame.
There’s a boy in front of you.
There’s a boy behind you.
And beneath all of you, icy Astroturf
licks at the tips of your black
“Feelin’ good?” the boy in front of you will ask.
“Feelin’ awesome,” the boy behind you will answer.
You’re trembling, but you
refuse to let any sign of fear
from your being. You clutch the
cold black handles of your
vibraphone with all of your strength. The pacing
steps of the army pound through your
“Take an Altoid,” the boy behind you offers, slipping some ice into your palm. “Calm those
“I’m not nervous,” you tell him with a smile.
But there is a whistle – a call to battle – and
You begin the quick drag to the field.
University of Illinois –
Keep moving, pull quickly, get your vibe in place, set your mallets, lower the pedal, adjust the resonators, shake hands with the boy in front of you now to your right
– Marching Band Festival.
(You have for the last
twenty-seven or so years.)