OPINION: How band has impacted my life 

Band is a place many students call home. I, for one, call it home. It’s a place I can be whoever I want, and no one will judge me for it. Some may judge people in band, but they don’t know how much it means to us. 

I joined band in the summer of fifth grade. In fourth grade, we got to go to the high school and hear the wind ensemble play all the different instruments. After that, we picked three that we were interested in playing. I chose clarinet, trumpet and flute. My mom played flute and my dad played trumpet, so I tried those two. As for clarinet, I am still trying to figure out why I chose it. My band director said I was good at all three and could pick which one I wanted. So I went with clarinet to be different.

I started playing alto saxophone in seventh grade. I wanted to play in a jazz band, but the clarinet isn’t a jazz band instrument. My band director suggested I play alto rather than tenor or bari because my hands were too small. 

I then started marching band in high school and did clarinet in my first year. It was pretty interesting marching clarinet. There were a lot of people in my section, so I didn’t get to know them super well. After the season ended, my band director asked me if I wanted to play alto saxophone for marching band instead. I said yes and have not regretted that decision since. 

I’ve met a lot of cool people through band. Most of my friends I have I’ve met through band, and I wouldn’t have as many friends as I do now if it weren’t for band. 

In fifth grade, I had a difficult time making friends. Being in band gave me an opportunity to meet new people and get out of my comfort zone. I was a shy kid growing up; I never went out and talked to people. Now I have so many friends. I even met my boyfriend through band. 

Band has also taken me to many incredible places.  In sophomore year of high school, we went on a trip to Hawaii for spring break. We visited Pearl Harbor and performed in front of the USS Missouri, which is something I will never forget. 

I traveled with the Maverick Machine to Rome this past New Year’s to perform in the New Year’s Day parade. We visited the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Pompeii. We also got to ring in the new year on the roof of our hotel with fireworks in the distance.

Without band, I would never have had these opportunities or any of the friends I have now. What I’m saying is: sign up for band and get ready for a journey that will take you places you thought you’d never go. 

Write to Lauren Viska at lauren.viska@mnsu.edu

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