Posts Tagged ‘seniors’

The lyrics are not reflective of this year, nor this senior class…but the title of the song most definitely is.  It goes without saying (at least I hope it does) that I would, indeed, do “anything for you.” For all of you, not just the senior class. And while what follows is geared toward the 61 men and women who will take the field on Saturday one last time as a member of the “baby band,” I suspect whatever prose created below will resonant with whomever the Reader is.

There is a place called ‘band.’ It is unlike any other experience one can have in life–it is unique. I make this statement not out of ego, not out of pride, but out of years of experiencing many other organizations available to the human being. Band is dependent upon each and every individual giving 100% effort 100% of the time.

It is the grueling week of Band Camp when the newest family learns to work together, support each other, celebrate each other. It is the challenge of last minute changes to schedules that teaches the family to be flexible. It is the unexpected event (weather, bus flat tire, late lunch or dinner) that teaches the family patience and understanding.

But it is not these things you will remember next year, in 5 years, in 10 years, in 30 years. It will not be the heat, the cold, the rain, the snow. It will not be my voice letting everyone in Newark know you need to “Set it up Uh-GAIN!” (ok…maybe that one will be remembered…virtually scarred into your memory banks.) What you will remember will be the smiles, the laughter, the tears of joy, the memories of audiences clapping, screaming, dancing and cheering. It will be the memories of every performance you share with the latest “baby band” when YOU return and partake in Alumni Band at my 21st, 25th, 30th, 35th (gulp) anniversary, and all the ones in between the milestone years. You will return to reunite with old friends and begin every sentence with “Remember when…”

I would…and in many cases have done “anything for you.” You are my family and on Saturday 61 family members will relive the last few years of their lives one last time. Because of this I propose the following list of things to do over the course of the next few days because you will never be able to do all of them on Saturday…and because underneath the tough exterior that the “outsider” sees and thinks is the real me, I’m really a sentimental woman who, as I said to the seniors this evening, is far better at conveying her true feelings in the written word than face to face:

  • Go to the practice field at sunset on a non-rehearsal day. Sit on the hill and simply be.
  • Go to the stadium at dawn or at sunset, when the sun is low in the sky and the complex is empty and simply be.
  • Walk the Team Walk without the band. Before going through the serpentine wall gate, turn around, look back and simply be.
  • If the stadium is open, sit in the band seats and simply be.
  • Take your time putting your uniform on–remember the first time you did it, savory the last.

I could go on but I believe you get the idea.  Take time to look within yourself and know one thing—you did good. And know that I am proud of each and everyone of you.

…oh, and seniors? “September: Beginnings and Endings”– perhaps you now understand that show for it was so much more than the literal meaning…so very much more.

UDMB DM Megan NixonTomorrow is the final home game of the 2011 regular season.  A typical season on some levels; an atypical one many others (hurricanes, earthquakes, and more).  As is always the case I became a bit reflective as I drove the lift from the turf complex across the dark athletic fields.  This is a traditional solitary ride for me–I like it that way to be honest.  Me driving a big piece of construction equipment at twilight….ok, it’s a little weird I will give you that.  But for some reason I am able to use the time to be deep in my thoughts about the season that is about to pass into the history books in 24 hours, and about a very special group of seniors.

Anyone who spends countless hours on a football field in every conceivable type of weather doing one of the most physically demanding SPORTING activities known to man has a right to be happy, thrilled, ecstatic that it is all about to come to an end.  And yet every year there are tears in the eyes, if not falling down the faces, of each senior band member.  The realization that a huge part of WHO they are is coming to an end hits, and it hits hard.  Sure there were hard rehearsals, of course there was frustration at times, and yes, there were days you did not want to be out there anymore.  But now, facing “the final curtain,” one finds themselves wishing to be a rookie again; wishing they could do it all over again because it all happened far too fast.  More time, please can we have more time?!

“Regrets, I’ve had a few” is how another stanza of that song goes, and yes, I’m sure every member of the UDMB has had one or two over the years.  But regrets are not what the seniors are focusing on right now.  They are thinking about their first band camp; the first friends they made that they will probably keep for the rest of their adult lives; their first overnight trip sleeping on a gym floor; mixing with UMASS and watching two grown adults (George Parks and I) acting like little kids, each band being embarrassed by their respective director and both directors looking at each other and laughing harder; their lifetime memory of marching in the Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C. and NOT freezing to death; flying to Texas for a football championship game; and anticipating their final regular season performance in Annapolis, MD in 48 hours.

The memories are endless for this year’s UDMB senior class just as they are endless for every senior class that came before and will be for every senior class yet to come.  There is no other organization in college that goes out of its way to provide as many experiences as possible for it’s members–experiences that are not to be had anywhere else on campus.  THAT is my goal, THAT is what drives me, THAT is why I do this year after year.  To see their faces when they are living IN THE MOMENT–there is no greater joy for me.  (I learned that from a dear friend not that long ago.)

So to the seniors and EVERYONE in the UDMB, here is your to do list for the final weekend:

  • Make eye contact with those around you and “be in it WITH” them;
  • Meet a few new people in band you’ve not met yet;
  • Cheer for the team; the cheerleaders; dance team; mascots AND EACH OTHER;
  • Thank a Field Staff and Ad Staff member;
  • Thank a ROOKIE;
  • Hug your friends;
  • Thank you parents;
  • Enjoy each and every moment of the experience because it only happens once each year.
And lastly, if you’ve learned anything this year I hope it was–
  • To love what you do;
  • To love each other;
  • And to love yourself  – with complete and total abandonment…”in my life, I loved them all.”