For most kids, summer is all about relaxing, sleeping in, and hanging out with friends. But for members of the marching bands in schools around the nation, it's about a lot more. For me, it means memorizing, working out, and carrying 45-lbs on my shoulder!
I spent two weeks at hardcore marching band camp this summer! All in preparation for the fall football season.
I’ve been playing the tuba since 6th grade and really enjoy it. Now that I’m in high school, I can take it to the next level by playing sousaphone in the marching band!
What’s a sousaphone? You’ve probably seen one before. They have a giant circle that’s right next to the musician’s head and the rest of the instrument wraps around the body. They’re usually gold or silver. And in case you were wondering, they are heavy: 45 pounds!
To prepare for the upcoming season of marching band, I spent two weeks with more than 100 other high school students memorizing music, learning to march, stretching, building muscle, and practicing the drill (that’s the movement you see in a marching show) for 7 hours a day, 6 days a week.It was hard at first, but it got easier as the days went by.
A marching band show is about eight minutes long. Therefore, I had to remember eight minutes worth of music AND drill patterns and steps.We take it a little bit at a time.
As a sousaphone player, I see things a bit different than other people in the band. I have a harder time with sideways and backwards moves. Sometimes people don’t get why I don’t have a move down as well as others. They don’t realize I have to take much larger steps than it seems, or that there’s a bar poking me when I turn sideways, or that there’s a giant instrument weighing me down. That’s life for a sousaphone player, though.
I’m really glad I joined marching band. Music is a passion of mine. I really appreciate my band directors even more; it takes a lot to put this all on. For many (including my editor!) half time shows by the marching bands are the best part of football season!
PHOTO: Kid Reporter Topanga McBride hard at work learning her drills for the fall football season. (Photo Courtesy Topanga McBride)