Column: Creating lifelong memories

Published 12:59 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

As the final note rang out, I brought my trumpet back into the position of attention and stood quietly still with the full knowledge that it was over. All those football games and days of practice were now behind me with the culmination of all of our efforts left on the competition field for all to see.

During marching band in high school, the whole year would build up into competition season and there was always a quiet uneasiness that also came with a deep satisfaction whenever the final performance would occur. You spend so much time preparing for the big event, that once it comes, all you can do is walk away from the field satisfied that you gave it your all with the hope that it would pay off in the final judging.

Now, years later, after finishing high school, college and adjusting to the real world, what really matters to me when I reflect on my time during marching band aren’t the outcomes of competition—though the victories are memorable—it’s those moments on the band bus, those trips to competition, going to the mall with everyone after the big event and hanging out in the stadium with my friends.

All of those pep rallies and football games almost blur together into one shared event in my mind but I remember small moments like getting hot chocolate when it was cold or watching a movie with a friend on my iPod. More than discipline, knowledge of music or a good grade—the most important aspect of my time in band was the establishment of friendships and the positive memories.

Which is why I was more than a little jealous when I learned about the Chelsea High School Marching Hornet Pride getting the chance to perform in the National Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington D.C. I can only imagine the spectacle of performing in front of the rows of crowds on Constitution Avenue—and even more so the chance to go see so many famous landmarks alongside friends.

Despite my jealousy, I am very proud of the local band programs in Shelby County—I’ve had the opportunity to cover their work and activities professionally which comes with it a distinct sense of joy as someone who use to be in the same shoes as these students.

I see bands from around Shelby County securing prestigious awards, receiving upgrades to their facilities and going on memorable trips to perform even as far as New York City and Chicago.

With all of these new investments, I see these students receive even more opportunities than I had which makes me proud.

I hope the ChHS band had a wonderfully memorable trip to Washington D.C. after delivering their big performance and that they are able to cherish these memories for the rest of their lives like I treasure mine.