By Joe Smith
I can remember it like it happened yesterday. All 135 members of the Colts stood in the cafeteria of Windemere Middle School. We all stood very close and held hands as our director Greg Orwoll read a few things to us and talked to us. I never wanted to let go of the hands I was holding, for I truly never wanted the 2003 Colts to disperse -- those people were my family and my friends. I loved the other 134 members and the numerous staff, and I still do today. That was Aug. 9, 2003, finals day, and Orwoll was administering our "dismissing ceremonies." I think about that time every day, and how I still want to be with those people. That was the end of the 2003 season for us.

Now the time has come once again for the ending of another season, and a career. As a senior in high school, this was my last weekend of high school marching band ever. I really thought I'd be happy that it was over, but now that it has come, I really have mixed emotions. Although it hasn't been as emotional as a drum corps summer, it has meant a great deal to me. I have spent quite a few hours in a band room in sectionals, and out on the field cleaning drill and adding visuals. You can learn a lot from the people around you in a band, and over the last four years I have done just that.

Just in the last two years I have learned such a great deal of information about who I am, and where my home would be during the summer. I owe a lot of what I've what I learned to my school's visual tech, James McNab. Last year when I was a junior, I remember seeing him almost every day on the field wearing his Colts member jacket, and I always wanted to wear one of those. Now I wear my own almost every day. McNab helped motivate me to make my dreams become a reality.

At the beginning of this season, I was very frustrated by what I was coming back to. Then, as the season wore on, I grew to appreciate the high school activity more and more. Now that it's over, I really do miss it, and I am sad that next fall I will not be donning the uniform of a marching band (I will be attending a community college that doesn't have a band).

Before you end your high school marching career, let the people in your band and on your staff know how much they mean to you. Think back on what you have done this season and throughout your high school career. It truly is a time to be cherished, for it will never happen again.

As this chapter closes in my life, I can be sure that other chapters will open up. So if you are ending this time in your life, help someone else find an interest in the marching activity, no matter what level it is -- high school, college or drum corps.

Thank you once again for reading Furioso.