Band Pageant From the Perspective of a Band Kid

With two field tournaments completed, and a third coming up before SCSBOA championships, there is an event that many students enrolled in band programs across the district attend every November. The PYLUSD district band pageant is an event where the band programs of PYLUSD middle schools and high schools gather to perform music together, as well as show off their individual performances/field shows that they have been working on all season. 

During the first portion of the pageant, all of the bands will perform their marches, and form blocks on the field. This leads to the district-wide performance of the Star Spangled Banner, a piece selected for all the schools to play (this year’s piece being titled Sounds of Sousa), and will close with all of the drumlines from each band coming together to perform a piece, while the high schools move behind the stadium to prepare their field shows. 

It is during these moments of preparation where energy begins to build. There are other bands practicing music and choreography, there is the sound of the metronome while going through the basic exercises. Everything begins to set in that this performance is happening, ready or not. But just as quickly as we walk on the field, the show ends. Once the show has ended, it is easy for many musicians to criticize themselves for small mistakes they made. But unless it was a large tear in the music, it really does not matter in the grand scheme of things. 

And this is where band begins to become more personal for musicians. We get to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, while also experiencing individual growth both as musicians and as people. For a majority, music is an outlet in which the energy from frustrations outside of band can be channeled into something beautiful. So that there is something that can be shown for all that struggle. Even if those problems are not being directly focussed on during the show, the energy still lingers. 

By the time Band Pageant is over, many do not think about how they will look back on it. For me, Band Pageant has been a place where I can admire the work done by the people I work with every day, as well as the work of other programs without the stigma of a score. In the midst of competitions and endless rehearsals, it is a break on the long road towards championships.