Twenty-five strong after a bass drummer got his grades up and earned eligibility, the Rotan Yellowhammers got their first look inside San Antonio’s Alamodome, where they would perform the next day in the state marching competition. The 72,000 seats in the stadium were a far cry from Rotan’s 400-capacity football field.
Texas Monthly ran a great piece about one of the, if not the, smallest band in Texas. The article’s opener grabbed me too, noting that Allen High School, the largest in the state with just shy of 6,000 students would send 725 members of their marching band to the Tournament of Roses Parade.
My four years of an 125-person marching band is a far cry from either of these extremes, but I found myself nodding along with the Texas Monthly piece. There’s a lot of heart that goes into a marching band with the right director and the right community support.
We made it to Regionals once—as they only occurred in alternating years for us too—and vividly recall both the excitement of making it (as, at the time, my high school seemed to always fall just short of it) and the bitter taste of realizing we weren’t that good, at that level. 😀
- Somehow, there is not yet a (musical) drum emoji. An oil drum isn’t the same. Thankfully, Unicode realized the error of their ways and a “drum with drumsticks” is a candidate for inclusion in Unicode 9, scheduled for June 2016. ↩