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This afternoon Quintin returned from marching band practice and I could tell he was a tad agitated. As we went out for our fresh vegetables, he finally admitted why he was a bit grumpy.

“I get so pissed when band members talk bad about other sections or the guard and say mean things.” I nodded my agreement. “Like today, some of the band members were talking about how they hated the guard costumes. When they say bad things about the guard or anyone else they are talking bad about the entire band because we should all be one.”

It took me a moment to let that one absorb. That was pretty heavy stuff for a teenager, especially one who has never been involved in any corporate activity like marching band.

In fact, it was profound.

The night I attended the marching band camp parents’ show I was so excited to see Quintin marching. I had been spoiled by not needing to search for my child in the sea of marchers, as Jose played in the front-line percussion. After the show, Quintin could not stop talking as we headed to the dorm to retrieve his bags. The talking continued throughout the drive to the restaurant for dinner, and for a good hour following dinner as we sat to chat some more about band camp. Not once did he volunteer information about the “fun” things he did at camp: going to the pool, the water balloon toss, the bonfire, freshmen serving the seniors. I actually had to ask about those events. Quintin’s focus was on the marching, the music, what he was learning, how everyone worked together, the various sets in the marching, and particulars about marching.

What did he not like about camp? Band members talking as instructors were trying to teach.


Yip! “I just wish people would shut up so we can get more work done.”

And this has been his daily mantra since band camp ended three weeks ago.

Naturally, as a parent, and teacher, I am suspect to wonder if he does any of the talking. But, for some reason, I am led to believe he just might be extremely focused during rehearsal.

Today’s conversation was quite exciting because I know Quintin is on an entirely different level than so many students his age, even his older brother who was in marching band for four years. Quintin seems to comprehend his duty, and responsibility to the band. And he is much like someone else when they were his age. His dad.

I told Quintin how proud I am of his devotion to band, as well as his understanding that the guard is definitely “the band” just as the winds and percussion are. It is all ONE BAND.

I find it interesting, even an incredible “wow” that Quintin has captured this thought process, and mentality so early. It’s exciting, actually!

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August 2011
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