What is your fondest memory of being in band?
In my Junior year, the music department got the opportunity to go to New York and play at Carnegie Hall. Overall, the trip was amazing. I mean, who doesn’t like to go on a several-day trip to New York with all of your classmates? Exploring the city with the band was something I’ll genuinely never forget. We saw a musical on Broadway, ate delicious food, and even had a celebratory dinner on a boat (which was very fancy to me at the time). One of the funniest memories is when we visited a Dallas BBQ restaurant even though we came from the DFW area. The highlight of it all was definitely Carnegie Hall itself. I vividly remember standing on the stage, next to my friends who I had been practicing and preparing with for months, and realizing what a big deal it was. At that moment, I felt invisible, impossibly grown up, and giddy with excitement all at once.
How did band help you become successful in your career and/or life?
Currently, I am a middle school English Teacher in South Korea. During my time in the band, I was involved in leadership, which often entailed running sectional practices and aiding the younger members. The overall experience of being in the band leadership helped shape who I am as a teacher today. I know what to look for when my students need help and I have the confidence to do my job.
Being in band also meant constant rehearsals no matter what time of the year it was. For my Junior and Senior years specifically, these rehearsals were focused on big performances that we would later have. While I deeply enjoyed my time in band, it definitely taught me patience, diligence, and the importance of being adaptable. These qualities were needed during my journey toward living and working in South Korea. It was full of ups and downs, from postponing my plans due to COVID to navigating the experience of moving to a country where I knew no one. Mostly, band taught me that hard work always pays off, and that was an idea I had to keep in mind throughout my entire moving process. The confidence I learned from band continues to aid me in both my daily life and in the adventures I get to take when traveling.
What do you wish someone would have told you when you were a freshman?
Cherish the memories you have of doing something you’re truly passionate about. Even if your future plan doesn’t have music or band in it, you never know when the opportunity to revisit your passion can come. Looking back, there were times I took my band experience for granted. Even now, I find myself humming music I once played with the full orchestra or remembering my favorite parts of the marching shows. While I teach English and haven’t touched a french horn in years, my local community center recently asked if I would join their full orchestra and I immediately agreed.
Hurray for old passions reviving!