For this blog post, I wanted to recount a few of my favorite memories throughout my four years in this program. Hopefully, they will give you a good idea of what you have to look forward to as a member of the Marching Mustangs!
I think my single favorite memory from my final season has to be the day I got pied in the face. Every year the band conducts about 3 main fundraisers to support our band program: Autobell Cards, Fruit Sale, and Mattress Sale. The first fundraiser of the year is the Autobell Card sale; this year, in order to make it more fun, Nourhan and I (the Drum Majors) agreed to incentivize people to sell more cards by allowing the top sellers to pie us in the face with whipped cream. We both got many, many plates of whipped cream in our faces, some people gently placed them, and some people really hit us hard. But, it was one of the most fun things that I got to do, and the band really enjoyed it (maybe a bit too much – I think that some people were cheering a little too loud). The highlight for me was getting to put a cake in Nourhan’s face because my team sold more Autobell cards than her team. After we were both covered in cake and whipped cream, Ian and Caleb dumped ice-cold water on us. While this might not seem like the most enjoyable experience for me, this was a great opportunity for the band to come together and have fun at the expense of their Drum Majors cleanliness – I will say, though, that the cake tasted amazing.
A highlight of my entire marching experience is being able to spend time with my best friend, Christina. When we came into this program, we were already incredibly close, but the marching band was a great space for us to grow, both individually and together. As
freshmen, we received the “Peas in a Pod” Award from Mr. Blount, and I am proud to say that (while there have been a few disagreements), we are leaving this program closer than we started. We were incredibly excited to bring this award full circle by presenting the same award to two freshmen girls, Allison and Beatrice, that we hope can have a similar experience in friendship through the marching band!
Senior Night is always an emotional and reflective night for the entire band because we recognize the seniors’ accomplishments and come to the sad realization that they will not be marching with us next year. My favorite part of Senior Night (and I’m sure many others would agree) was giving my balloon to a younger marcher. This is a beloved tradition in the marching band because, as we give our balloon to a younger marcher, we are passing off our legacy to someone that means a lot to us in the band. Passing off my balloon was an incredibly special moment for me, along with saluting Nourhan, who is the Senior Drum Major of the 2020 season. For many reasons, Senior Night was a very gratifying experience as I got to reflect on my contribution to the band over the past four years.
My final memory has nothing to do with the marching activity; instead, I wanted to display the type of community that marching band fosters. It was the first day of my freshman year, and I was completely lost; the building names were confusing, and I didn’t really understand where I needed to be going. I assume that I looked pretty lost when Will Miller, a senior in the marching band, came up to me and asked me if I knew where I was going. He walked me all the way to the other side of campus (where I was supposed to be) to make sure that I got there. This story often surprises people because, although Will is incredibly nice, he may not be the first person in the marching band that you would think to come to the aid of someone who is lost on campus. But, I love this story because it just goes to show how much the upperclassmen in the marching band are looking out for younger members, both in and out of the band setting. If you join the marching band, you will automatically have a bunch of friends and a home at Myers Park, which is immeasurably important considering how large the campus and student body are. The marching band community has a strength and sincerity that you will find in very few organizations at Myers Park.
These are just a few of the many amazing memories that I will carry with me from this program, and I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for the opportunity to be a part of such an inclusive and supportive environment.