By Joe Smith
Well, it's that time of year again for the Friday night high school football games. And during the halftimes of these games you generally see a high school marching band play. Some are vets of corps and some might one day become members of a corps. I am one that falls into the vet category, and unfortunately, I'm the only vet of a corps in the band. I wish there were even more -- but that's what recruiting is for I guess. Marching band is something I haven't been looking forward to since May 26, when I first put on the Colts uniform, because I know how much drum corps and high school band are so different from each other. I do have to admit, though, that my band has improved a lot since last year, and that there can be some enjoyable moments. I had one of those moments that I loved Friday morning, but some of the other members of the band don't agree with me on that thought. We were fortunate enough to be able to do a basic figure-8 block at 196 bpm. It's something that I actually look forward to when we have the chance of doing it, although I would personally rather be doing something like 5 to 5s across the field at 200 bpm, but I don't think our staff would find that to be a necessity. Probably the only part of marching band that I really remember well from last year, besides the shows, is the warmups before. I enjoy the sectional blocks working on basics, but as I try to compare it to this summer, I realize it's not possible. This summer we always did the enjoyable things. We would start with a short stretch, then we would "block it up" as a full horn line where we would do some across the floors, and then we would end with my all-time favorite, "Flip and Fours." Then we would do the usual horn line warm up with buzzing, playing and tuning before heading off to do the show. I think the main reason that I was not looking forward to our football game Friday night is because just under two months ago I was on the same field, except I was in a Colts uniform. Friday night will be my real wake-up call -- that I won't be putting the Colts uniform back on until May, when we do the Memorial Day parade in the corps' home town of Dubuque, Iowa. I still just wish I had one more day with everyone from the 2003 Colts -- especially the horn line. But then the battery did have their members that were extremely funny -- especially with Firehose always telling me that the new girl makes him "Furioso!" There will always be next year, although it will never be the same. All in all, it was a very different experience putting the high school band uniform back on. The warmups felt very weird because nothing was precise. The show was OK for the first time out on the field in
uniform. We got off in the first movement, but it could have been worse. No one fell, at least. Now we are cleaning drill working our way to being ready to take a trip to Minnesota this weekend for two competitions. We'll see how that goes later. Now for the finishing touches. For this week's Furioso: I just want to let everyone know that when I can't see the yard lines I get very Furioso! I would also like to let everyone know that this article was paid for by the James McNab for Governor of California campaign.