As a former hi-school student, parent of students, and son of a hi-school teacher I’ve had ample opportunity to interact with a variety of teachers. IME, none are so maniacally driven as the band directors. Every performance is treated as though a worldwide audience is watching, and every aspect of the music, marching, uniforms and accoutrements is regarded as though the future of the planet hinges upon it.
What on earth drives them so? No other teachers seem as crazed about the actions of their students.
This thought occurred to me as I’ve spent the week helping prepare for this year’s marching performance. As a traveling entourage, my kids’ band currently consists of 9 buses, 1 van, a variety of parent vehicles, and a full-sized 18-wheeler (with smaller vehicles inside it which scurry down ramps pulling equipment at arrival). A typical weekend contest involves over 250 people including parents, band, road crew, and cooks; and we’ll often serve over a thousand meals. I’m currently in charge of procuring, assembling and driving yet another large trailer to carry huge field props (I get to build them too :rolleyes:). Of course, this must be painted in school colors, so I’m now negotiating with paint shops, and trying to find a small 4-wheeler to pull this contraption off the trailer and out on the field with the rest (we only have a few minutes to assemble and disassemble, lest we’re disqualified).
It occurs to me that this massive logistics operations is repeated with dozens (hundreds?) of other bands on contest weekends, and for football games; all so we can perform an 8-minute show. If we win, the directors get a trophy that no one will remember or care about in a few years.
Why? What on earth drives the directors to this insanity?
You might also wonder why the hell I’m doing all this? Because my wife really really wants me to (and I’ve been married long enough to know when to say “yes, dear”).