What do Bill Clinton, Lionel Richie, Tommy Lee, Dolly Parton, Lamar Alexander, Trent Reznor, and Jon Bon Jovi all have in common? Believe it or not, they were all in high school marching band. Bands and former band kids are everywhere—not just in huge annual parades and halftime shows, but kicking off the action in Dave Chapelle's movie "Block Party," gracing the cover of "Life Magazine," and marching with Gwen Stefani (also a former band kid) in her video for "Hollaback Girl." Whether or not you were ever in band, you may be surprised to know, it's bigger than ever. And for many people, band is an experience that becomes part of who they are and what they value. You may have been there. Now read the story—the first book to describe what it's really like to be in an elite marching band, and to strive for musical perfection in motion. "American Band," a new book released on August 2, takes you deep into the lives of the musicians, directors, and community behind one championship marching band, the Concord Marching Minutemen from Elkhart, Ind. In the stories of the band's top trumpet player, the scared freshman clarinet, the drum line captain whose leadership comes into conflict with his friendships, and others, you may recognize your own. Plus, a cameo appearance by Drum Corps International's own Cavaliers!
Author Kristen Laine, an award-winning journalist and a former band kid herself, takes an unprecedented look into the huge phenomenon of American marching band culture in this work published by Gotham Books. Promoting the recent release of the book, Laine will be at the 2007 Drum Corps International World Championships Aug. 10-11 in the Festival Marketplace at Rose Bowl Stadium to meet with fans and to sign books. A portion of the proceeds from all of Laine's events will be donated to various school music programs across the country. Read an excerpt and learn more about this book. 'Riveting' may not be the first word that comes to mind when you consider high school marching bands, but it nicely describes Kristen Laine's creative nonfiction debut American Band. — Paste Magazine