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Sweat dripping down my face and butterflies fluttering around my stomach as if it was the Garden of Eden, I took in a deep breathe and asked myself: "Why am I so nervous? After all, it is just the most exciting day of my life." When the judges announced for the Parsippany Hills High School Marching Band to commence its show, my mind blanked out and I was on the verge of losing sanity. Giantís Stadium engulfed me, and as I pointed my instrument up to the judgesí stand, I gathered my thoughts and placed my mouth into the ice-cold mouthpiece of the contrabass. "Ready or not," I beamed, "here comes the best show you will ever behold."
There is no word to describe the feeling I obtain through music. However, there is no word to describe the pain I suffer through in order to be the best in the band either. When I switched my instrument to tuba from flute in seventh grade, little did I know the difference it would make in the four years of high school I was soon to experience. I joined marching band in ninth grade as my ongoing love for music waxed. When my instructor placed the 30 lb. sousaphone on my shoulder on the first day, I lost my balance and would have fallen had my friends not made the effort to catch me. During practices, I always attempted to ease the discomfort as the sousaphone cut through my collar bone, but eventually my shoulder started to agonize and bleed under the pressure.
My endurance and my effort to play the best show without complaining about the weight paid off when I received the award for "Rookie of the Year." For the next three seasons of band practice, the ache and toil continued. Whenever the band had practice, followed by a football game and then a competition, my brain would blur from fatigue and my body would scream in agony. Nevertheless, I pointed my toes high in the air as I marched on, passionate about the activity. As a result, my band instructor saw my drive toward music and I was named Quartermaster for my junior year, being trusted with organizing, distributing, and collecting uniforms for all seventy-five members of the band. The responsibility was tremendous. It took a bulk of my time, but the sentiment of knowing that I was an important part of band made it all worthwhile.
This year, the dream of my freshman year came true. I became Drum Major of the PHHS Marching Band, along with being a soloist on timpani for the percussion feature. I was no longer just a dot in the marching drill, but a leader of the entire bandóbut I had no fear. Being the most experienced marcher of the low brass section for two years, I had learned how to set an example for the newcomers and help my section with marching techniques. I knew exactly what dedication and hard work it would take to win the championship trophy at Giant Stadium, and I refused to settle for anything less than my best effort. I not only had to push myself to achieve my full potential, but I also had to inspire the band members to play and march their best show.
My experiences in marching band has brought me tons of friendships and pleasant memories I will never forget. Furthermore, I joined marching band in the first place to enhance my playing skills, but the knowledge I acquired thereof was so much more. After four seasons, I can truly say that I became a commendable leader as well as an excellent marcher and player. Most significantly, I feel that although victories donít come easy, as long as I work as hard as I can and persevere through pain and anguish, I can achieve a lot more than winning first place in Giant Stadium. It was a test of persistence, passion, and commitment in life, as I managed pass with flying colors.
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Marching band, Sousaphone, The Ohio State University Marching Band
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