Five things to know about…Chelsea’s marching band

Taylor Miller, Reporter

1. A lazy July is a distant memory — While most of everyone else in Chelsea High School is relaxing at the beach or at home during the month of July, the Chelsea High Marching Band begins their four weeks of  band camp. While the first two weeks are dedicated to learning the music or the choreography, the third week is the one that members remember the most. For five days, band members spend ten hours in the blistering heat with little to no shade. In that one week, the band learns and memorizes the drill for the show (where you are on the field and when). The long week ends with an event that everyone will remember for probably forever: rookie initiation. Although the thought of whip cream covering your body in hundred degree weather seems disgusting, it is actually more disgusting than you can imagine. However disgusting it  is, the process always includes hundreds of smiles and pictures that you pray never see the light of day. So if you are ever bored during the month of July, come to the school and see the band and then be thankful for your air conditioning and soft, marvelous bed.

2. It is not as easy as it looks — While in the stands, the marching show looks like a bunch of lines and shapes and you might think that it looks easy. Well news flash, it is not easy. Try memorizing music and then remembering thirty dots that you have to hit or else your straight line turns into a squiggly mess. You must also remember that while you are marching, you must not move to fix your hair or anything. You also must remember what foot you are on or else it is like you have a neon sign over your head saying, “Look at me!”. When at attention, you are at attention; as in no moving whatsoever. And finally a very big thing to remember: stay clear of the colorguard. Those six foot poles and wooden rifles might look cool in the air but when it hits you right in the head it feels as if someone tossed a pipe into face with all their strength. Mostly because in all honesty they did Although they are not aiming for you or that expensive instrument, accidents do happen.  So if you ever look at the halftime show and think “I can do that”, you may need to rethink that because that show took a lot of time and energy (refer to number 1).

3. Marching band IS a sport — There is a common belief among Americans that Marching Band is not a sport. Well, I hate to burst your bubble but IT IS. defines a sport as, “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature,”. That is exactly what band is! How is running across a football field to get to your dot in sixteen counts while continuing to play your music or doing your choreography not considered athletic or a type of skill? Not only that but you have to keep that instrument up in the air and let me tell you, it is not as easy as it looks. Although the show only lasts about eight minutes, so much physical and mental exertion is put into this show to entertain the crowd and win all 1s (the best you can get) at a competition.

4. We have our “professional” teams too — Here is another newsflash for all, band extends beyond high school and college. Marching band has an almost a professional side as well. There is another category of marching band called Drum Corp International. DCI is a collection of bands who travel the USA performing their show for thousands of people while being scored and all hoping to be number one. These bands consist of thousands of young adults who have fought and auditioned and pretty much died for their spot. Each band even has their own fan base and merchandise. For many band members, this is where they strive to end. People pay thousands of dollars and go through so much just to be on that field, doing the best performance they can and awaiting each cheer and sharp intake of breathe from the crowd.

5. Band is a family — After spending those numerous hours of exhaustion and dehydration, it might seem difficult to find a reason why people actually do marching band. The reason though is for that anxious feeling before a performance and that amazing feeling after one. Most of all though, it is for those moments in the stands or during a water break or the pouring down rain when you know that you are with your family and you want to be nowhere else. Even though you are never going to like everyone, those moments when the drums or the brass play those stand tunes and the whole band rocks out will forever be your best memories. Band is a weird, dysfunctional, loud, and sometimes annoying family. But what other kind of family is there?