By Joe Smith

Joe Smith
Over the last week and a half I have had a lot of time to think about things. If you know me, you know that all I think about is music and marching. I've realized a lot of things about my opinions, too, and how they've changed. Some of this is even thanks to James McNab, my visual tech (who is running for Governor of California). It seems that some people look down upon marching bands when they go back to them after a summer of drum corps, whether they're teaching or marching. I am no different than most of these people. For the first couple weeks I really looked down upon the people in marching band and I pitied myself for it. This last weekend, though, when we went to Minnesota, I realized how much I was wrong. I realized (once again) that these kids aren't paying to be here -- this is what they do for credit. We also aren't fortunate enough to just march all day because we also must attend classes and work. But most of the time, when it comes down to it, the people are dedicated. Marching band also helps us a little bit with our craving, because -- let's admit it -- drum corps is about as addictive as cigarettes, but not as unhealthy. We don't get the large doses that our body would love, but it's enough of a dosage to last the off-season. I've been thinking about it, and really, marching band has a decent amount of things that are similar to drum corps. For instance: You don't get the dynamics that will rip your face off like you do in the summer, but some of the shows out there take a lot of inspiration from the drum corps community. In most cases, you aren't going to get things from high school kids that are as emotional for the audience as, say, Phantom Regiment this summer or Santa Clara Vanguard. But bands do some crazy things that can be fun to watch. The Irondale, Minn., band comes to mind with this year's "Rhapsody in Blue" program -- after all, you don't see an entire horn line spinning rifles that often. The kids on marching band fields do put out a lot to produce entertaining shows for the audience at football games, marching band competitions and the like. So take some time out of your day if you get the chance and go support your local high school marching band. Special thanks goes out to McNab for really cranking it out this morning and letting us do box eights at 200 bpm for 8.5 minutes. I owe him for that. "Mullets make me Furioso" Joe Smith is a 16-year-old mellophone player for the Colts. Smith is a senior at Ankeny High School in Ankeny, Iowa. E-mail him at, or instant message him at Trumpetsforever4.