Hats Off To Band ParentsPosted: September 14, 2012
Remember my Guest Post week? Last week? Yeah, so there was an incident where a post got lost. I told all the posts to stay close to me and to work on the buddy system, but things happen, and they did happen.
Sadly, it happened to the post written by Debbie. Like me, she is a proud Band Parent…
Oma and I belong to a very special group. Kind of like a fraternity, but without the Greek letters or fancy handshake.
It’s called Band Parents.
I don’t know about Oma, but I was a Band Kid before I became a Band Parent. Many of us were. We loved Band so much that we couldn’t wait to introduce our kids to it.
In my town, Band starts in the spring of a kid’s fourth grade in school, when the elementary Band Director administers a test to gauge interest and aptitude. The director introduces the kids and their parents to the various instruments and recommends which ones the kid would be best suited to play.
The following year the kids sign up for Band. They’re responsible for daily practice on their chosen instrument, as well as a Winter and Spring concert. No marching. No fundraising.
Piece of cake.
My son (AKA My Favorite Domer, or simply Domer) had to play percussion. The pounding of drums, the crashing of cymbals. Neighbors could hear him three houses away in any direction!
As sixth grade rolled around, some of the kids quit Band in favor of sports or other activities. Not Domer. He had to have a trap set. And lessons.
By high school — when even more kids quit Band — Domer had tired of beating on drums. He switched to trumpet, much to the Band Director’s dismay. The other kids had had four years of practice; Domer was beginning all over again.
But he was determined and worked twice as hard. By his senior year, he was named section leader!
I pity the kids who quit Band. They miss out on so much camaraderie. But I understand their fear of the time commitment — Marching Band competitions every weekend. Full Band plus solo and ensemble contests every spring. Extra practices weekday evenings. Fundraising.
Through it all, Band Parents are the unsung heroes. They chaperone kids to and from events and practices, march alongside them (with water bottles to counteract the heat), and buy more than their fair share of candy, candles, wrapping paper, light bulbs, and other things they don’t want or need.
They’re there from the start, wincing as squawks become tones, noise becomes rhythm, and halting notes become recognizable songs. They clap until their hands hurt, fret outside the doors to contest rooms, and pray before auditions. They part with money and free time, all to help the kids.
Then the day comes when their “child,” newly accepted at the university of his choice, announces he wants to try out for the Band. To march on national TV during football games. To travel across the country (and abroad) representing his school.
A Band Parent starts worrying and praying all over again. Will he be good enough?
But when the kid calls to announce he’s made it — been accepted to the Band — well, that’s when a Band Parent knows it’s all been worthwhile!
Note: Debbie’s son Domer is a senior trumpet player at the University of Notre Dame. She blogs at http://domermom.com and is grateful to her friend Oma for the chance to do a guest blog.