Yesterday was my 23rd Homecoming game at UD. One would think that after that many years in the same place the experience becomes routine. I can assure you it does not.
Homecoming for a college band director who must manage the university band as well as the annual alumni band and any other number of factors associated with a football game can be and is:
- Anxiety filled
- …break out a thesaurus and keep adding to the list.
Yet when you CHOOSE to silence the “noise” in your head and dive head first into what you STILL love, you find yourself completely immersed in the PRESENT.
Watching the alumni from the late 1950’s (Gene Carlisle-trumpet player representing the Class of 1961) through last year’s class of 2017 arrive at the practice field makes one smile. Greeting them and enjoying their reactions while they watch the current edition of the UDMB rehearse is always satisfying. But it is reminding them that THEY were the ones who came before and paved the way for the future that is one of the most gratifying experiences a band director can have.
To have one more moment in your life to put on the uniform and relive “the glory days” is something all former UDMB members wish for. (Don’t we all regardless of alma mater?) Yet we know the Wayback Machine does not exist so we hold on to our memories, share stories, laugh and cry “remembering when,” and KNOW that the current Bandos are having the same life-changing experiences we had: ones we would never have had if it were not for band.
The hope every alum of the UDMB wishes for every current member is the one I hope they live every day: No matter where life takes you, eyes with pride–ALWAYS.