Friday, October 30, 2009

But is the sousaphone okay?

My friend, Perry, sent me this YouTube video snatched off ESPN's coverage of the Ohio State-USC football game. This is the Ohio State Marching Band. Even though I might, only rarely, root for Ohio State, I love to watch their band make the script Ohio. A sousaphone player always dots the "i" in Ohio. You can see, in some cuts, how they "snap" instruments when passing through lines and, just briefly at the end, how they whip around to face the crowd to play the fight song. I wonder how long it takes an incoming freshman to learn exactly where to go on the field and how to do this. They all look as if they have been marching in the band for years.

OSU Marching Band

I was in marching band in high school. I played flute. I was an average player. I really wanted to play the clarinet but we couldn't afford rental fees. My mother played the flute and we had her flute in the house. I learned to play on that until my grandfather gave me the money to buy a newer used flute.

When Carole was old enough to select an instrument for band, she chose flute. She could have chosen anything but she wanted to play the flute. The flute I played on became hers to use. When she got into high school, we bought a better flute and she bought a piccolo, something I always thought would be fun to play but because I wasn't first chair, I was never allowed to even try.

Carole is incredibly gifted, musically. She was second chair sophomore and junior years, becoming first chair her senior year. She was one of only 2 8th graders to make the symphonic band as freshmen.

When she went off to college, she continued in the band at North Central College. They don't have a marching band, per se. Her junior year, they started playing at home football games, just a bunch of people who sat on the sidelines. She still plays occasionally. Although we'd get on each other's nerves, I would love to have her come home just to hear her practice.

I was a band parent and went to all the home games and all the marching band competitions through 4 years. We didn't take vacations around Memorial Day or 4th of July because there were parades to march in and you got extra credit for marching. One of the best tee shirts I ever saw was, "Football game? I'm here for the marching band."

Lastly, here's the Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band at the Alamo Bowl in 2006. This is their traditional entrance at the beginning of the game. It's fuzzy and hard to hear but the first song is "On Iowa" and the second one is the Iowa "Fight Song".

Iowa Marching Band

Kind of makes me want to get football tickets next year, somehow, just to see the band.

Beverage: china black tea


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