My shoulders burned from the effort of holding my trumpet above my head as I blasted what I remembered of the parade sequence.
December for a band nerd means parade season, or, the time in which you should catch a quick illness just to escape.
I glanced down my row: Rebekah marched next to me, looking as though she were about to faint; Kendra, the freshman, was looking at us in horror wondering why we came back every year when we had to keep doing this, Nolan had given up all semblance of proper marching and was blasting something that might have been the parade music or last year’s marching show; it was hard to tell the difference with all the missed notes. At the front of the line was Christopher, our section leader, who had developed biceps after years of athleticism and somehow had memorized the entire sequence. We shot him mixed glares of admiration and jealousy.
This was last year’s, my junior years, parade season. It the first one that I felt as though I truly belonged in, as though I were an actual part of the team instead of simply a nuisance. But my last parade season is past and, as much as I hated parades themselves, to the point of writing an angry sonnet about them, I look back on these days with nostalgia and affection. Now I can truly answer Kendra’s unspoken question about parade season. We don’t do it for the kids, we don’t do it because we love Christmas music, we do it because we love the band and each other and for the memories that we give.