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Kalib Snyder

United States

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February 16, 2016

    BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE


It all started, one day on a cool afternoon in May, 2015, in the middle of Ohio. I was in my last period band class when we were awaiting results of the instruments people will be playing for the next marching season, meaning who plays which instrument.
My name is Kalib, and my first year of marching as a freshman in highschool, I played trumpet. But my best friends Cody and Brennan told me that if I didn't want to march trumpet again, that I should join drumline, they have been in for their whole high school career..
    Cody hadn't marched for outdoor, he played in the front ensemble, but later did Bass 4 for our indoor drumline, so that pretty much makes him one of the favorites. Brennan marched Bass 3. After they told me that I should do it, I started to take it under consideration… the way we tried out for our certain instruments, was to go to clinics, which was a series of warm ups for a matter of weeks. this all lead up to that “cool may afternoon”. My family and I were planning to take a vacation to the Outer Banks in September, but it would fall right on a competition day, and it had the chance to interfere with what, I am put on.
    Mr. Etling, a percussion judge, and our percussion teacher and director, pulled me off to the side that day… All the names of the percussionists were already on the board next to the instrument, Cody got Snare, and Brennan got Tenors.
    “Kalib.” said Mr, Etling.
“I want you to march for me, but the only thing keeping me from writing your name is that vacation, we’ll need you…”
    “I won't go on the vacation!” I said.
    “I’ll talk to my mom and tell her that I can't go.” I said.
My mom knew how much this meant to me. The drumline was all i could talk about since my 6th grade year, plus i've missed out on so much since i wasn't taking lessons with Mr. Etling.
    He gave me a hopeful look. Everyone in the entire band room watched him, as he walked towards the white board. and he wrote my name on the board next to bass 5. In shock I didn't know what to do because I was sitting with the trumpets, But then Cody came to me and told me to come with him to the back counter with the rest of the percussionists. I was so happy and i didn't know that the best year of my life started right there…
    About four weeks had passed, and it was time for the “percussions Camp” to start. which was kind of like the clinics but it's not like the tryouts, and it lasted about two to three weeks. it consisted of constant warmups and “8 on hand”, which is about how it sounds. I found very quickly that I struggled at first with timing, I won't say that i'm not the best now but back then, it was the real challenge. Cody saw that I was struggling and decided to help me with keeping myself in time, by helping me practice with a metronome.
A few more weeks passed by, and Daniel, a senior Snare Drummer, got to pick and print off a few different Cadences, for us to play during parades and football games, so I decided to ask cody for more help with practicing. Since our group wasn't very good, with all of the people that are new to their instruments, Etling decided to pick , “Genesis” one of the easiest Cadences that we had printed off, it ironically became one of the fan favorites.
I think the hardest time of the summer was “Band Camp” because its was a week long, and full of Three-A-Days, and it's the time of sweat, blood, and tears. During Band Camp, we found out that our show's name was “Beyond” and that it was themed and named after the exploration to the moon. Throughout the the football season we had been to probably around ten games, and it was just about time for the competitions to start. When our first competition rolled around, I don't think we were as well prepared as we should have been, even though it had been about five and a half months of marching and playing, But we had no choice…
It was mid October and we went on at around noon, and we were at the warm up zone, and then we had to stack up at the gate because we were on next. At the point of walking out onto the field, we found that it was the most nervous part of the season, and we probably hyped way too much. when you're about to go out on the field in front of a thousand people, your body creates adrenaline, and it's kind of like a ritual before the show to jump and yell out a random number, to fight off that fight or flight mode. when we were setting up on our dots, it felt like forever before the announcer said we may take the field, and that first note felt like heaven because we weren't just standing there anymore. That show was probably the best one of the outdoor season.
After the show, we went to the trailer and packed up our gear, and changed. Then we went to the stands and watched the last two or three shows, when it was all done, it was time for awards. So, my school, Marion Harding, is notorious for winning almost everything in our category “Class A”, and our band room is filled with so many trophies on the wall, that I don't even know what color the walls are… and we have to put them on stands now. but as it was expected, we won everything. It was a terrifying year for me trying to learn and march a bigger instrument, but I think there is a power when it comes to friendship, because I believe more than anything that Cody and Brennan both helped me to overcome any fear I had. They helped me more than anyone and they did believe in me.
It's now February of 2016. Cody and I are in the Indoor drumline, playing our show, “Red Alert”. Cody is playing tenors and i'm still on Bass 5, but i've been taking lessons from Etling to play tenors for outdoor, and it's going pretty well. I think it's safe to say that, this year, has been the best of my life...
 

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