Multi

“Ok. Good job everybody! Now let’s go through the entire song!” My section leader announced. Angela and I looked at the top of the music. As we fingered through it, I got myself motivated. This was a difficult piece to play, but I was able to get through it. When we play this over again, I should be able to play it really well. “Alright. 8 for free! 5, 6. 5, 6, 7, 8.” I focused on the piece and played through the song along with the rest of the clarinets. “That was great! Now. Turn your stands around. Hopefully you all memorized the piece!”

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123RF

“What? We’re going to have to memorize this?!” One of the clarinet members asked in disbelief. “Of course! We’re going to be playing this on the field!” My section leader answered. I felt distraught. This music was already difficult enough when playing it on the music. Now we were going to have to memorize it. “Practice makes progress guys. Keep practicing.” She said, and the bell rang for fourth period to be over. When I got home, my only goal was to memorize the music. I practiced for about a half an hour with the music in front of me, and finally, I turned my music face down. I closed my eyes and thought of the way my fingers pressed on each key when I played the song. I played through it, and found out that I was able to consciously memorize the music, by remembering the pattern of my fingers moving. “Yes! I did it!”

“You guys are going to have to think about keeping a straight posture, and also keeping your legs straight and your feet flexed.” Our tech said after he watched our marching technique. “I know there’s a lot to think about. But you’ll get it soon!” I focused hard on keeping my back straight and keeping my head forward as we marched across the field. “Aria! Keep those legs straight!” I was startled at being called out. This was a difficult task, but I needed to focus on keeping everything in order.

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“That was great! You guys got it! Remember, marching band is full of multi-tasking. You have to think about a lot of things. But you guys are smart you’ll get it!” The band director smiled. “Tomorrow we are going to work on playing music and marching at the same time!” “Oh man.” My friends whispered. “Tomorrow is gonna be a difficult day.” We all sighed. “I agree.” I said, looking down at the ground.

“Hey you guys are doing great! There are multiple little things that you guys have to focus on, and I know it’s going to be difficult. But it’s not impossible!” The tech said, encouragingly. I knew all the things I had to work on, and I just needed to really know how to apply all of them in performances. Marching band was something that could really stimulate your brain, and make you realize you have a lot of potential. What just started out to be playing single notes on the clarinet softly turned out to be sixteenth note runs while marching sideways across the field. Multi-tasking in marching band was a true work of art.

Decisions

“I have a couple friends in tennis. They practice after school a lot.” Ivy said. Eighth grade was about to come to an end, and my friends and I were talking about the new classes we would be taking next year in high school. “Hm.” I thought aloud, adjusting my earphones during the Skype call. There was Vanna, Ivy, and Shefali in the call along with me. “Here how about we decide on the smaller things first. Extracurriculars are kind of difficult to decide on the spot.” Vanna suggested. “What are you thinking for our math class?”

“Alright! So Accelerated Biology for science. That’s all our classes! Now we just have to choose our extracurricular.” I said. There was a huge list of what we could be interested in. There were so many sports and clubs that were available in Fountain Valley High School. As we discussed what we thought would be fun to do together, we made a list that narrowed down the wide variety. There was tennis, basketball, or volleyball. I thought for sure I would be choosing from one of those sports, and nothing else.

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L & C Scouts

“Abby! What classes are you choosing for next year?” I asked. Abby and I were at her house. We had just finished our homework, and we were just lounging around, talking. “I think I’m going to be doing FVRR.” She said. “FVRR? You mean band?” I asked. “Yeah! I can play flute pretty well! You can play clarinet too! You could join! You’re really good at clarinet.” She said. “Ahh I don’t know. I kinda want to do a sport next year. You know. Be fit.” I hesitated. “Hm. I think band is a physical activity too.” She suggested. “I’ll think about it.”

“Three days a week, about three hours after school.” A senior named Priyanka said to me and my friends. This was Shefali’s sister, and she was a part of the FVRR. “Wow! That’s a lot of commitment!” Ivy said. “Yeah! It’s a lot of work too. It really is worth it. There are so many benefits you can get from band. I am really glad I joined.” Priyanka responded. After she left with Shefali, we talked amongst our group again. “I don’t know. Band sounds difficult. And I can’t play an instrument. We won’t be together if we don’t do the same activity!” Wanna said. The rest of the group was a bit reluctant to the idea. However, Priyanka had gotten me thinking.

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Sarah Wood

“I think I want to do band.” I said. “Really? Are you sure? What about the sports list we made?” Vanna asked. “I think FVRR is a really cool activity. I really want to do it. I made my decision.” I said through the mic of my earphones. I’ve heard so many things that came with band, such as honors credit, and just all and all a great experience. I would be able to make new friends, and challenge myself with this activity. Even as I was officially signing up for FVRR, I didn’t realize that joining the band would officially place me into a work of art.

 

Unexpected

“I don’t know. I want to be more active this year! It’s my first year in high school, and I want an activity that can keep me fit. Band doesn’t seem like an athletic activity. And it doesn’t sound very fun either…” I replied to Abby. We were looking through the extracurricular activities that were provided by FVHS. Since both of us knew how to play band instruments, Abby suggested we try the Fountain Valley Royal Regiment marching band. “C’mon! I was told it was a really great activity!” Abby said. I thought about it for a minute. Well, band seems to be something good that I can put on my college applications. I sighed. “Alright. Hopefully I don’t regret this.”

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Micromax A102

“Alright! First day of band camp of the FVRR. First thing you guys do!… is take a lap around the field. GO!” The rest of the band groaned while Abby and I looked at each other. “At least its athletic.” Abby whispered, and we ran after the rest of the band. “Ok good job guys! It’s time for lunch!” It was four hours of stretching, marching, and learning drill. First day wasn’t even over and Abby and I were already burnt out. “That was really tiring. And you thought it wasn’t athletic.” Abby joked, as we walked over to our backpacks. When we arrived, we saw three other freshmen girls sitting near the backpacks, eating their lunch. They looked up at us, and waved. Abby and I smiled. We didn’t have anywhere else to eat lunch, and we didn’t have a lot of friends in band. Hopefully, that would change soon. We walked over to the girls, and we started talking to them.

“Lunch is over! Back on the field!” The director called. My new friends and I stood up from our spot. We spent the whole half hour talking and laughing about first half of the day. “Band was a lot harder than I thought.” Kaitlinh said. The rest of us nodded. “You think we’ll survive? This is the first day. We have a whole school year in front of us.” Angela asked. “I don’t know. We might quit.” Kaitlinh answered. I sighed. This was really tiring. “Let’s not worry about the rest of the year right now. Let’s just focus on surviving the rest of today.” Abby laughed, and we ran back towards the field.

“Look. I know this is tiring for you guys. But once you guys get motivated, you’ll like marching band a lot.” Our director said, after the last three hours of band ended. Everyone was chugging water from their water bottles after a tiring day. We sat in the band room, listening to the director give us a motivating speech. After we dismissed us, the freshmen girls all met each other outside the band room. “Whew. We survived the first day.” Brytney said.

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Presentation Magazine

“Hm. I really enjoyed today actually!” I said. Everyone looked at me in disbelief. “I mean, we made new friends, learned a lot of marching techniques, and a lot of upperclassmen were impressed by us.” I replied. “Yeah I agree. I don’t think I’ll be quitting. It was actually really fun! And we survived!” Everyone nodded, and started walking away from the band room. Just then, a sophomore guy walked out of the band room. He was part of my clarinet section, and I surprisingly talked to him a lot during practice, despite my shy personality. When we made eye contact, he smiled and and waved, before walking away. “OOOOOOh AriA.” Brytney exclaimed. I laughed, and the rest of the girls started to make fun of me. I wasn’t going to leave this band anytime soon. This was going to be a great season. A very interesting work of art.