I walked into the band room last night for the last Pep Band game of the season, and was greeted with this from my band director:
“Hi Joon! Do you want to conduct a bit today?”
I must have looked quite ridiculous at that moment, a half-eaten bacon cheeseburger in one hand and decorative caution tape in the other, complete with a slowly but surely appearing grin on my face. Conducting? How could I say no?
Turns out that our trumpet section was quite thin last night, and it was enough of a problem that our band director decided to play trumpet instead. Whatever the circumstances, I was just grateful for the opportunity. And what an opportunity it was! I stumbled over some things like cutoffs, but I think it was a good learning experience. I noticed quite a few differences as I conducted: for one, I could hear the whole band from where I was standing. That’s usually not the case when I’m standing in the saxophone section during a normal Pep Band game. Also, the tempo that I set seemed to feel slower to many others. Maybe that could be attributed to a bit of nervousness (I was so scared I would mess up during the Star Spangled Banner), but nonetheless an important thing to keep in mind. Oh, and I learned that your arms start hurting after conducting fast tempo songs for two hours (conducting “a bit” turned into the whole time). I can’t imagine how our band director does this every game.
Unfortunately, it was the last home football game of the season, making it our last Pep Band game as well. When our band director asked all the Seniors to pose for pictures at the end of the night, I suddenly realized how much I’d miss Pep Band. And I’m not just saying that as a “last game” thing; I genuinely am going to miss four years of rocking-out, crazy-hard, voice-losing, caution-taped fun.
Well, we still have the parade at the end of the year. Go Pep Band!