As some of you may be following me closely, I have been very open about wanting to join Longhorn Band. I would like to give you a journey into my Band Week, and how it went for me.
It started with a picnic and a marching clinic on Tuesday. This was optional but it helped with learning the basics and meeting the section leaders. I went to the picnic and ate hot dogs while chilling with the clarinets. I went to the clinic and learned the first two parts of my marching audition. It was not a bad marcher, I just was not snappy enough when marking time. Taps drill, a signature marching style for Longhorn Band, was very hard for me. It involves keeping your knees up and your toes pointed down with every step. If done right, it looks like a horse trotting along. I had trouble keeping my knees up and my toes down.
The next day was the real first day of Band Week. I had to register and be welcomed into the band. They formally introduced the staff, section leaders and all of the organizations in the band. They tried to make it quirky, fun and interesting. I missed the quirky fun spirit band members have. Then we ate lunch provided by Tau Beta Sigma, the band sorority. It was sandwiches, chips and cookies. Then we started playing our music. That’s when it hit me how hard it was going to be. Even the warm-ups were beyond by my playing ability. The music I thoroughly enjoyed, but I struggled with some of the fast rhythms and fingerings. I have heard Texas Fight hundreds of times at football games, but I never knew how hard it was to play. The clarinet part was increasingly difficult with a fast tempo and many challenging rhythms. I found out I had to learn Texas Fight by memory and part of an arrangement of Conga by Gloria Estefan. We ran through other traditional music such as March Grandioso, and Deep in the Heart of Texas. It was hard. At least the school song, the Eyes of Texas was not too hard. Even though I had seen the music beforehand, the speed and the skill at what I had to learn threw me off. It got even worse during sectionals. There was a break afterwards and I didn’t made back home to my apartment to rest and head back in time with my curiosity of a new building on campus and a rain shower. Then, we had hot dogs for dinner.Finally, we had a marching rehearsal in the Bubble, an indoor practice facility. I had to go over what I learned in the clinic, and learn some more marching techniques. I still struggled with being snappy, and I had trouble moving in the quick tempo. The rehearsal was hard but the first day was over.