A Senior's View By Gabby Castillo

Author's note: Hola. My name is Gabby Castillo, and I am in my 5th year of marching band. I'm also a sr. This is a story that is basically about a seniors view on everything that happens to them in a marching band. I hope you like.

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For the first time that season she stepped onto the freshly cut green field and breathed in. The scent of grass and yard line paint filled her nostrils, and she closed her eyes, relishing the all to familiar smell. She took a few quick roll steps in the plush grass, sampling it before heading out into the block forming backfield. She jogged quickly, a smile on her face as she watched nervous rookies shift anxiously in their lines. This is where she wanted to be.

Her ears listened to the voices of the new drum majors as they tested their authority on the still sleepy crowd. It was eight in the morning, the first day of band camp, a week before school started again, and the young marchers weren't used to watching the sun rise from a basics block. They stared with sleepy eyes in awe at the pristine movements of the student teacher giving a quick lesson on forward eight - to- five, before falling into a sloppy attention behind an experienced marcher. She allowed a small smile to creep to her face as she stood at attention also. This is what she wanted to be doing.

She listened as the assignment was given, and subdivided the counts before stepping off. 'The last first step I'll ever take,' she thought to herself. Thinking this, she forced her toe lift to be higher. Her role through was perfect. She smiled again when she felt herself gliding across the field, part of this band, a group she loved. She counted loud, felt the sweat running down her back as she pushed herself to do better with every assignment.

"Go through your checklist," reminded the student teacher as the marchers stood still at attention again.

Chin up.
Shoulders back.
Chest out.
Stomach in.
Feet together.
Toes apart.

A quick break and the band was on the field, coordinate books in sweaty hands. She explained to the rookies in her squad how to read and find a coordinate. They watched her with eager eyes as she showed them her first. They smiled as they ran to find their own first set. She laughed as each and every one of them stood at attention once they had. She had never been more proud.

They went through the first ten sets before heading into lunch. She stayed quiet as she watched everyone run around, or go through their music. She laughed at the band jokes told by the tubas, swayed to the cadences played out by the drummers, frowned at the gossip of the flutes. She listened as Dr. Beat clicked in the background, scales filled the air, the soft breeze blew back the hair falling out of her ponytail. She couldn't imagine doing anything else.

Lunch finally ended and each section went its own way to music rehearsal. She took out her music and read the top corner proudly.

First Trumpet.

She brought her mouthpiece to her lips and played with the other trumpets, adding a note here, taking a rhythm out there. Let's add a crescendo, don't play to loudly. Don't rush, don't rush! Good trumpets, play it just like that. She smiled as she filed ever word to memory.

The first day was over. She walked slowly out to her car, wiping the sweat from her brow. It was nine o'clock at night. It had been a long day, but worth it. Unlocking her door, she took a look at the school, then to the field not to far back. Four more days to go, but there would never be another first day for her. Never another first basic block, never another first step, never another lesson on coordinates. This was all over. In four days, she'd never have another band camp, and as sad as the thought was, she smiled.

This is where she wanted to be. This is what she wanted to be doing. This is what she was.

A senior in marching band.