By Katie, high school freshman in Michigan.
High school. A new chapter in my life. This is the blog series chronicling my year as a freshman.
- Our morning practices start with about an hour and a half of warm-ups. Tedious, yes, but as all of the hornline players also participate in band during the school year, our director makes sure we’re always striving to achieve technical perfection.
- Stretching is not usually anyone’s idea of fun, but you come to realize it’s the best part of field rehearsal – ten minutes where there’s no rigorous physical movement and you’re not getting yelled at for missing your dot (marching band speak for your coordinate on the field at a certain measure in the music).
- Field rehearsal entails two to three hours of marching and playing through the halftime show sets (everyone’s dots put together). “Good” or even “great” is not enough. You must strive for absolute perfection, to make it flawless and appear to be effortless. As our drum major says before every rep, “Make something better.” It may sound intense, and it is, but I love every second of it.
- Nine hours of practice a day, oh my! And you get to do this in the heat of the mid-summer Michigan sun (i.e. temperatures upwards of a hundred degrees plus). Coffee becomes a morning staple. You will come home with a new appreciation for air conditioning and enough sleep.
- Rehearsals are essentially the same as they are at home, only it’s hotter and longer. On the plus side, the hotter it gets, the more water breaks we’re allowed. I also managed to gain ten pounds of muscle in six days. We all came home with the most ridiculous of tan lines. I, for one, have ones from my watch, my sunglasses, and am tanner on my right side from where the sun was in the morning.
- We performed our pre-game and halftime shows for our parents on the last day. Yes, we all made mistakes, but yes, it was amazingly fun.
- In my opinion, games are both enjoyable and exceptionally boring. When we’re playing, there’s the adrenaline going and for a few minutes, everything we’ve worked for comes together and it’s amazing. On the other hand, sitting in the stands while watching the football team get beaten is not fun. (But that also means people clap more for the marching band than the team, so I won’t complain too much.)