Their goodbye song: Seniors prepare for end of marching season

Brooke Combs, Staff Writer

     Wednesday is their only day off. Every other day, they stay at school until 6:30 p.m. They spend these hours perfecting their halftime performance.  But now their season is coming to an end, and the seniors will have free time in their schedules.

     “I think it’s hard to fathom, honestly. It’s weird to think that the season has almost ended,” senior Nikita Ahuja said. “I was honestly really happy when I found out we made it to playoffs. A lot of the band students were like ‘Ah no, we don’t want to make it to playoffs’, but I was like ‘It’s too soon to let it go.’ This season went by so quickly.”

     Senior clarinet player Brain Tang said he is excited for the extra time he will gain once marching season is over

     “Once marching band ends, I will go home and take a nap for three hours instead of marching for three hours,” Tang said.

     But for other seniors, the end of the football season is bittersweet.

     “I’m sad about practice ending because I’ve been doing it for four years and it’s a fun way to spend time with all of my friends,” senior Dennis London said. “I’ll miss not seeing them every day.”

     Not only are the seniors losing hours spent together, but they are also saying goodbye to being part of one aspect of school pride.

     “Our director tells us, and I believe this too, that ‘The band is the soundtrack to every football game,’” London said. “I think we provide a lot of support and encouragement to the fans and football team.”

     Tang sees marching band as an honor. Having the audience in the bleachers watch him perform on the field is something he appreciates.

     “How many people can say that they’re at the bottom of the field playing for all these people?” Tang said. “It’s pretty interesting how so many people can work together, even if they don’t know each other, and make something work anyway.”

     Ahuja said she is thankful for all the band members.

     “I have 100 to 200 supporters around me that are always pushing me,” Ahuja said. “Whenever I get tired during practice my friends are always like ‘No, we don’t get tired in marching band.’ I’ve surrounded myself with such great and talented people.”

     Though the marching band practices together as a whole, London’s favorite memory is one which includes only his section.

     “Since I play trombone, we have this little group called ‘The Thunder Bones’ and we play at the beginning of every fourth quarter in front of both the junior and senior student sections,” London said. “It’s really cool being on the field, doing something only the trombones get to do. I really enjoyed that.”

     Similarly, Tang has a memory that he will forever cherish in his heart.

     “At the West game, they had all the seniors step out for senior recognition,” Tang said. “It was really nice watching the entire crowd stand up and applaud, especially since it was a full stadium.”

     Ahuja’s best memories, however, are not from being on the field. She remembers times she felt closer to her fellow classmates.

     “One of the coolest things I think we did was just march around the school during the West game week,” Ahuja said. “I think that was definitely one of the times I will never forget because it’s in a totally different environment than what we’re usually in. We get to be face-to-face with our peers; a matter of a couple of centimeters.”

     Because of marching band, Ahuja has been able to minimize her lifelong fear of stage fright.

     “I love to perform but I’ve always gotten nervous,” Ahuja said. “And it’s totally helped me with that and having a group of supporters there for me.”

     Being in marching band for four years has given Tang a new perspective on life.

     “I definitely see a lot more respect for things I usually wouldn’t have,” Tang said. “I can understand discipline more because on the first day of marching band they called for us to stand straight for ten minutes and not to move.”

     Ahuja, who has been figure skating on and off for five years, is content with her decision to stick with marching band instead of figure skating.

     “There are some times when I think about how my life would have been affected if I pushed myself more with figure skating rather than marching band,” Ahuja said. “But there’s never been a time that I regretted it because with figure skating it’s more of an individual aspect and I’m not surrounded by many people supporting me constantly.  There are so many different paths I could have taken, but I’m very happy with the path I chose.”