She was the Prom Queen, I’m In the Marching Band « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowShe was the Prom Queen, I’m In the Marching Band

She was the Prom Queen, I’m In the Marching Band
Published on Friday, June 15, 2012 by

Day billion and six of the June blog writing challenge.  I have had two BUSY days so I have not been able to visit everyone’s blogs!  Not good!  I can’t wait to catch up with everyone this weekend.  See you soon and sorry for the delay!  Today’s theme is “First Place.”

Have I NEVER been in first place?  Spelling bees?  Sports?  Art?  Never?!

My first thought was nope, not a one.  But then I remembered the flute.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was a band geek.

Kempsville Marching Band

Band-Aids over earrings during marching competition.  No makeup.  Hair braided back.  I didn’t look GOOD on the field until I rocked it as a rifle girl.  But overall, band geek.

The only “talent” I have ever had is playing the flute.  I was good.  I didn’t play notes, I played from the heart with feeling.  Indeed, I was good.

*Sidenote?  I can still rock that chromatic scale.  My teacher would be proud.*

flute player

Private lessons.  Symphonic band rehearsals.  Band camp.  Solo competitions.  I was first place off and on.  I was good enough when I made the effort.

But I have to tell you.  When I was in Madison High School in Vienna Virginia, and our symphonic band made it to the Chicago Band and Orchestra Clinic as one of the top five bands in the country, it was all worth it.

A flight to Chicago.  A room in the Conrad Hilton.  Chandeliers in the elevator.  And after months and months of never ending practice, we found ourselves on stage in front of more people than you can imagine.  And we played.  Beautifully.

Sitting in the middle of so many instruments.  The first notes begin.  Then they build.  And soon you become the piece of music.  Loud, soft, swirling notes.  All in unison yet playing different parts. You actually become the piece.  It’s something I just can’t describe.

We got what I believe was one of the only standing ovations that night.  All of us stood up, looked around and grinned ear to ear.  And laughed out of sheer joy.  All those hours together.  The band conductor yelling.  The endless notes we played over and over and over.  In this very moment, it was completely and absolutely worth it.

At that moment, being a band geek was very, VERY cool.

mom blog

  • Ha, ha, very good. Well done. I was in the band in high school. I played the drums. Couldn’t read music but I could smoke. The band teacher let the band members smoke at band practice. It worked for me.

  • That experience on stage has got to be what winning something big and public feels like; whether it’s the Super Bowl or national spelling bee.  I’ve never had that.  I’ve only won a few small in-class things.  And maybe day 1 of this challenge.

  • I think that’s fantastic!  I think being involved in band is not geeky in the slightest!  And playing any instrument is wonderful!  You become a part of something greater than yourself as a member of a really talented team.

  • And I hope you were very proud of that.  It’s sad that life gets in the way of music. maybe you can take it up again more seriously, in a different sort of band? A talent should always be allowed to shine 🙂

  • Ron

    Katherine, I was GLOWING just from reading this post and feeling your passionate love for the flute!

    What a faaaaaaabulous experience that must have been! And how proud!

    “All in unison yet playing different parts. You actually become the piece.  It’s something I just can’t describe.”

    Yes, I know a bit of what you say because it was the same feeling I had being an actor onstage. 

    Becoming ONE!

    Thanks for sharing this experience, my friend. Really enjoyed reading it!


  • It must be truly wonderful to have a musical talent.  To be on that stage made all the practice and nurturing worth while.  Like Babs said, you should get back into it.  You never know where life will lead you.

  • Tami Von Zalez

    Fellow band geek here *raises hand.*  I too was in the marching band (French horn player) and loved it!  I also gained an appreciation of sports since I sat in the bandstand at every game.  

  • A very cool tale of being in first place. Nicely written!

  • Now I’m very ashamed of myself. The whole time I was reading, I kept waiting for the part “and this one time, at band camp…”  Lovely post, Katherine. And I hope you find some time to pick up the flute again. Your passion for the flute and the music really came through every word in this post.

  • Mel

    I’m grinning from ear to ear……

    The girl was a flute geek.  
    Band, marching band, musicals–honor band and all state….she rocked the house when she played.  Seriously–everything came to a standstill cuz I couldn’t help but stand in awe of the passion with which she played.

    She still plays after years of letting it sit.  A part of her community orchestra–she STILL rocks the house!  She almost didn’t try.  Boy is she glad she did.  It’s such a good thing for her, so far away from her career … it’s an awesome thing that she chased it cuz it’s something that’s all HERs, yaknow?
    You oughta research.  It’s summer and (at least around these bitty towns) band concerts are weekly and they look for folks to join them.  Maybe there too?
    Never know……  And really–that ‘glow’ from writing it could be yours again in a heart beat.
    JUST sayin’…..

  • I am so glad you described that beautiful scene after you mentioned Band Camp.  I needed something to distract my mind from America Pie.  =)

  • Oh, Katherine! This post made my heart sing! 

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