On August 31st a brigade of Orange and Black will march onto Anderson Field and arch up on the 50-yard line to blow the faces off the crowd at Mercer University’s first football game in 72 years. As a proud member of the inaugural Marching Band Color Guard, I will be standing on the shiny new AstroTurf that glorious first Saturday night where the marching band will perform.
We have chosen to theme this season’s performance as “Resurrection.” Resurrection describes not only the band making a comeback but the entire football program and the atmosphere surrounding the college football experience.
Thanks to hours of hard work band members have contributed to the program, Saturday nights will be silent no more. During half time the band will briefly stand at attention until our drum majors give us the cue to blast the ever known and loved Fight Song. But before we let the notes and flag-work fly we will be in our own silent world for a short moment.
In that brief moment we have, the opportunity to pan the faces of an enthusiastic audience and think back to the baby steps that brought us to this point. We have given up two weeks of our summer for the infamous band camp, slaving into the hot hours of the day carrying heavy instruments, blasting notes, tossing flags, and getting prepared to enthrall a screaming audience.
We have given up our nights to join together for practice to become nothing less than the best. We have hauled ourselves to the football stadium and back through thunderstorms, lightening, and vicious rain.
We have stopped at nothing to become the best there is. The band continues to take in enthusiastic and dedicated new members, whether they have previous experience or not, causing the band to become an ever-growing family.
I have personally worked with several of the most recent color guard members and have helped them learn a new routine. Even though they’d never picked up a flag before, it was easy to teach them. However, I have faced many more times when teaching the same routine can be difficult and frustrating.
The frustration becomes worth it as the new members begin to match their flag work with the current members and the color guard’s flag work becomes in sync.
The different instrument sections face a similar process to the color guard, teaching music to members who have never seen music so difficult and even a few who have never played an instrument before. Lack of experience does not go hand in hand with lack of dedication.
The entire band has pushed through difficult times and has learned how to play a new instrument or spin a flag – all while marching and exciting the crowd that cheers before us. It is up to us to go out and perform to the very best of our ability and leave it all out on field.