Marching on to a new chapter in life

Seniors Say Sayonara

Natalie Vasquez, Staff Writer

This column is the third piece in a series of farewells from The Freelancer’s senior staff members.

When someone thinks of marching band, they probably think of cheesy movies about high school with small clips of the band or even that scene from American Pie. However, band is so much more than that. It’s memories and friendships, struggles and disappointments, but most importantly, it’s family. That is what I believe band to be, and after spending the last four years of my life there, I’m sad to leave but also grateful for the experience.

I started playing the trumpet freshmen year with absolutely no experience. Not many people know, but trumpet is quite the difficult instrument, so I was definitely scared once I realized what I had gotten myself into. Being the person that I am (incredibly shy around new people) I was also terrified about what band would be like. Some of my best friends were in middle school band, so I had an idea. Freshmen year is already awkward, so trying to see where I would fit in was hard. I was unsure if the others would see me as someone other then the new girl who can’t play her instrument. So, I made it a mission to show them that that was not me. Walking into the band room on the first day of rehearsal during the summer was an adventure. I had just rented myself a trumpet from a music store and spent an hour at home watching YouTube videos. To put it nicely, I sounded like a beached whale. However, I didn’t let this stop me. I was actually very happy about my situation. Yes, there were times where I wanted to give up or throw my trumpet across the room, but I stayed determined. I was going to prove to everyone that I could master this instrument, and I was going to do it in a year.

Throughout my four years as a member of the marching band, I feel like I have mastered the trumpet. Not in a Miles Davis (insanely good trumpet player) sort of way but considering I had no prior skill, I think I’ve done pretty well. In my sophomore year, I tried out for the jazz band and made it into the second band. This started an avalanche of goals for me. Goal one was to make it into jazz band. Check. Goal two was to be the leader of that jazz band. Check. Goal three was to just become better all around. The leadership skills I had learned that year helped me in the future. I had become someone young musicians could look to for help when they felt unsure about themselves. They knew about my history with the trumpet, so they didn’t feel bad that they couldn’t play as well as the others. Once senior rolled by, I became the Co-Section leader of the trumpets. I was surprised at first but I then realized that the other members looked up to me. I was more then a leader to them, I was a mentor.

I think the saddest part of graduating will be the friendships that I will be leaving behind. I have made a lot of friends in four years, but none are as special as the ones from middle school. I had come into band with a few friends. Not only did we stick together through the four years, but we’ve stuck through difficult times in each others lives and become a second family. I will always cherish those friends and I hope they stay close to me. The new friends I have made are amazing. Everyone builds each other up, always positive and helpful, and are always trustworthy. Yes, we have tense moments or small, annoying comments, but I’m sure every friendship has that. I’ve also built strong relationships with parents of the band, as well as with my band director. My band director, Mr. Matt Rohrs, has helped me through my four years and motivated me to do a lot of things. If it weren’t for him, I might not even still be in band. He helped me with my instrument when I needed it, as well as personal help when I needed it. Most students don’t have a chance to get connected with a teacher, but since I’ve spent the past for years with him, I’m glad we have.

Overall, high school was a blast. Not only did I make friends, but I also grew as a person. I’m not a small, shy girl anymore. I am now a confident person who is not afraid to speak her mind. I am excited about what lies ahead of my in the next chapter of my life and I hope that no matter what, the friendships I have made over the past four years, will hold strong. Not only because they are my friends, but they are also my family.