There may be as many as 500+ members in a marching band, each having their own part that inter-locks with the 499 others'. I believe marching band should be considered a sport. Everyone must be incredibly coordinated and precise. The band as a whole, and individually must practice. Then there's all the physical stresses that you have to overcome.
Coordination plays a key roll in marching. A lot of teamwork goes into it as well. All the musicians have to play in the right key, stay in step, and stay musically in time or else the entire show could be compromised. Memorizing game plays is a large roll in football and other team sports, same with band. You must remember the basic notes, key signatures, and various other musical symbols. Then there are the hundreds of sets, or where and when you have to be on the field during the show. Just one person off can throw off the entire form or melody.
Athletes selected for the Olympics have trained for almost all their lives for their event. In Bellevue West's marching training, we have a two week period of living hell, aka 'band camp.” You basically do nothing but eat, sleep, and think band during the two hottest weeks of the entire summer. Mr. Haugen, our band director, pushes hard and some break down and quit, but in the end, the majority of the group is remaining. All thats left now is a well oiled machine, just like any sports team.
I only hinted how physically demanding this “extra-curricular activity” actually is. You must carry an instrument exactly level while marching, and all your body wants to do is bounce up and down like loose luggage. Then if you're a sousaphone, like me, you have around 45-50 lb. pushing down on your shoulder as you try to elevate yourself as high as possible, as to follow correct marching form. Then you must remember that half your air as you march down the field, goes to playing your instrument. If that's not enough, you're... [continues]
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