Over the Horizon

By Evelyn Madill
If you’ve ever been run over by someone with a drum strapped to their front as you’re trying to leave at the end of the day or been called down from the office to move your car from the parking lot, you’ve witnessed the beginning of a rehearsal of marching band. The West Jessamine Marching Colts is a group of kids dedicated to making music and putting on a show. Their show this year is called “Over the Horizon” and tells of an ocean voyage, featuring snippets from Dvorak’s New World Symphony. The director, Patrick VanArsdale, is looking forward to “being the best that we can be and continuing our improvements in placings at the State contest. We’d like to stay in the Top Ten again, but we’re definitely shooting for top 8 this year, and we’ve got some tough competition.”
What is it that makes students want to spend their last three weeks of summer and upwards of 12-15 hours a week once school starts sweating on the blacktop, carrying instruments that can weigh anywhere from one pound (a flute) to 45 pounds (tenor drums or quads)? For some, it’s the bus rides to and from competitions, although some like the actual competitions the best. Mr. VanArsdale’s favorite memories of when he was a marcher are “just playing an instrument. Being with my friends and making good memories…I can’t really remember actually marching, I just remember the good times that we had, hanging out with friends and having a good time at football games and any trips we took.”
While band may seem like just a bunch of crazy geeks who spend way too much time together, it’s so much more than that. It’s a home to kids who would otherwise be eating lunch at a table alone. It’s a place where students can be themselves and express their creativity in a way no other activity offers. It’s a place where memories and friendships that will last a lifetime are made.

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