When I moved to Eaton Rapids halfway through eighth grade, I thought it was the worst place on Earth. Little did I know, the last few weeks of eighth grade would bring two awesome things into my life: my friend Wondra (of Wondra's World) asked me to hang out and my band director asked me to play trumpet in marching band the next year.
The following fall brought friendship and music. I am still proud of the hard work we put into The Blue Show. Although band members did not always get along, no outsider got away with making fun of one. We worked together, we played together, but most importantly we made music together.
Recently, Wondra put her time and money into sharing videos of the 1996-97 Eaton Rapids Greyhound Marching Band with the world. A warm thank you to her!
I will never forget the sense of pride our director instilled in the band. To this day I am early everywhere I go because he insisted "to be early is to be on time and to be on time is to be late."
Our band director pushed us to strive for excellence. On the way home from one performance he stopped the buses, pulled everyone outside and called the band to attention. What followed was one of the fiercest lectures of decorum I have ever heard. Yet rather than laughing him off, we strove to achieve the goals he placed before us.
The band gave me confidence in myself. It was about discipline. It was about entertaining the crowd. But most of all, it was about being a part of something greater than ourselves.