Just responded to the Facebook post: “What’s your favorite NMK show?” At first I thought that was an easy question, but as I typed “Les Miserables” I really got to thinking about what that meant.
I think we all fall in love with different marching band shows for different reasons. While the music and the maneuvers are the technical part of the show, the things that really make a show a favorite are the emotion and the comaraderie that we each invest in that show. As Chad Grey mentioned, there are other shows that had better marching or the music was of a higher caliber, but since I didn’t put any of my own sweat or passion into those shows, they aren’t going to rank on my list of favorites. I can’t watch a more recent show and feel an emotional connection, but every time I think about Les Mis I can picture B.J. Levy’s clenched fist in the air after he nailed the solo in “Stars,” I can feel the muscles in my legs start to involuntarily twitch in time to the sudden tempo change near the end of the closer, I can envision tears on Chad’s face (ostensibly from the injured ankle he received earlier in the week) as we all stared defiantly at the crowd in our closing pose, I can sense the pride that welled up within every person on that field knowing that we had accomplished something amazing and that in that moment in time as we marched off the field, we each could feel the potential for greatness within ourselves.
The music and the marching were merely the frame work for the show – a hollow shell needing filled with our passion and energy. The way the members of the band became one was what truly made those eleven minutes some of the most precious in our lives.
On the 20th anniversary of our State Finals Championship victory, I would just like to say, “Thank you!” to Bob, Ruth Ann, the rest of the staff and each of you that was with me on the field that day.
And a thank you to Brad Hayes for posting this on YouTube.