The Numbers Game of Marching Band
Music, University Center for the Arts | October 04, 2015
Sometimes, it’s all about the numbers. In the first six weeks of the 2015 season, 230 CSU Marching Band members – including 24 color guard, 24 Golden Poms, and 33 percussionists – led by 24 section leaders, 3 drum majors, and 5 graduate teaching assistants have followed the instruction of 3 directors and faculty, logging in over 200 hours and performing 12 times… or 18 times if you count RamWalk, pregame, and halftime as separate performances…or over 24 times if you count Presidential Pep Band gigs. 700 bottles of water are served, and about 6 miles are marched, at every game. And figuring out how many times the band has played the Fight Song is mind-boggling (over 250 wouldn’t be wrong and the drumline does keep track, revealing a final tally at the band’s closing banquet in Dec.).
And sometimes, it’s not about the numbers at all. In the first 6 weeks of the 2015 season, upperclassmen in leadership roles have risen to the occasion; new marchers have found a place to belong; new uniforms have been fitted and admired; gentle, yet firm correction has been given; nerves have been tested; marching 8-5 (8 steps to 5 yards) has become a habit; traditions have been embraced; hydration levels have waivered; insoles have been added; selfies with CSU President Tony Frank have been captured; interpersonal communication has been challenged; bus ride buddies have been picked; memorizing has become a discipline; countless smiles and laughs have been gifted; and lifelong bonds of friendship have been solidified.
With 12 weeks left to go in the season, college marching bands around the country are supporting their teams and entertaining crowds, putting in the long hours, rigorous repetition, and work ethic required for a high level of precision and presentation. But behind the scenes, perhaps the life skills and experiences to last a lifetime are what really count!