Posts Tagged ‘family’

Tomorrow is Homecoming at UD. There’s a buzz on campus for the first time in many years–a buzz that has students GLAD they are part of this campus. A buzz that feeds school spirit and one that makes just being on the grounds feel like HOME.  It takes an enormous effort to put together all the various events that take place on Homecoming–efforts that tend to go unacknowledged.  So let me take just a moment to thank the folks all over campus who have “stepped up their game” and made Homecoming something to look forward to as opposed to being a chore!!

With that said, the role of the band is multifaceted when it comes to game day. Preparation is pretty nuts frankly. Gotta get a new show out and make sure the old show is ready for postgame–toughest audience of the season: the UDMB alumni! They WANT to be wowed….(and in all humility I can say without any hesitation that “wowed” they will be tomorrow.) The band will have a shortened rehearsal at the ungodly hour of 730am in order to rehearsal with the Alumni Band at 830am. Then the Team Walk, then a quick “lunch,” then a performance inside the BOB at the President’s Reception.  After that we try (hope and pray) there is enough time to do the traditional concert in the Gold VIP lot. Then it’s clock work: west concourse parade and pregame.  All of that takes place between 9:30 – 11:45am.

…coffee…LOTS AND LOTS OF COFFEE will be required!

With all the insanity of Homecoming there are a few moments, albeit moments that are brief, that I cherish each year:

  • seeing the alumni from years past (this year we have folks from 1961 on the field!);
  • seeing their families (so many tuba mutes!  er, I mean, children!!);
  • seeing the multigenerational UDMB families on the field during “In My Life;”
  • watching the “old timers” mingle with the “baby band;”
  • smiling, laughing and knowing what it’s like to break the horn out again and trying to recapture your youth and relive those memories of entertaining the fans in UD stadium;

But most of all…I LOVE the stories! Each and every one of them begins with “Remember when…”

Tomorrow will be my 21st Homecoming at UD. I look forward to many, many more in the future. I know “the world did not begin with me” and that there were years and years of Homecomings that occurred long before I ever set foot on this campus. It is those stories I long to hear each year–the ones that happened prior to 1995. It is those stories I want the current band members to hear (albeit with an understanding that the world was very different back then!!). And the reason is so very simple:

You need to know where you came from in order to know where you’re going.

Welcome home alumni—we’ve missed you.

Honestly I’m not really sure where to begin and that doesn’t make much sense to me. My 20th homecoming at UD…I should have some profound statement to make, some heartfelt story to share, some memory that triggers laughter and tears all at the same time but….at the moment….I’ve got nothing.

How is this possible?!  How can I sit here on the couch without having a single inspirational thought running through my mind?!  Has it finally happened? Have I lost my touch? Have I lost my mind? Have I come to the end of the road where Santa is standing next to a leprechaun, both looking at me with sheer annoyance??  …perhaps they are….

To be fair to myself, I actually have hundreds of memories racing through my mind.  Each one bringing a smile to my face.  What I find interesting is that every memory is equal to the next.  Yes there are some that seem to stand out at first but then another one pops into my head that has the same importance in the evolution of the program.  Each story is better than the next and yet they all seem to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other because of one overarching theme: family.

I’ve written about about this topic before but sometimes certain topics are worth revisiting.  We all have family.  Mine are all up in northern NJ or Manhattan.  Our families bind us together–they are there for us in good times and bad.  They can always be counted on when needed.  Some people are lucky to have an extended family…I’m one of those people.

From college friends who have stuck by my side through thick and thin to former students who are now colleagues and cohorts, it really doesn’t get any better than this!  Band brought us all together…band keeps us together.  Band is family….UD is home.

20 years have flown by…and with that about 3000 people have graced my life by letting me share in theirs.  We’ve shared happy thoughts, flown past the second star to the right and have found Neverland together. We’ve weathered Indians, alligators and a few Captain Hooks over the years but we’ve always come out the other side as far better people.  The people come and go but there will always be Lost Boys to look after, and there will always be another adventure.

See you all bright and early……