Why Marching Band?

The answer, of course, various among individuals, but for the most part it can be summarized by saying that marching band offers students a combination of benefits and fulfillment that they have been unable to find in other activities.

Some find acceptance for the first time. In marching band, nobody cares about your status, how you look, what you wear, whether you are a gifted musician as long as you give your best. Some thrill to the style of music and marching and to the constant physical and mental exertion to reach perfection, both as an individual and part of a team.

Some thrive on the challenge and pressure of competition and sweet taste of victory. Still others enjoy the opportunity to entertain. For them, the ultimate goal is to bring pleasure to others and the ultimate reward is the thunderous applause that acknowledges their success.

For all who experience it, the Black and Gold Brigade is a place to form deep and lasting friendship, not only with other MV Band members, but with all marching band members everywhere.  Band members form a closely knit fraternity.  All have undergone similar experiences and emotions; all know the intense effort and sacrifices, the discipline, and the bursting pride that comes from doing even better than you thought you could. Many people participate in worthwhile activities devoted to music, social development, competitive sports or companionship, but few are fortunate enough to find the best aspects all combined in one.  MV band members are among those few.

Why the Black & Gold Brigade? Because it’s more than a way to spend time; it’s a way of growing up.  It’s a way that requires absolute dedication, self-sacrifice, subordination of individual desires, physical and mental endurance under adverse conditions.  But if a band member gives his or her best, the reward is the chance to set a goal, then strive to exceed it, the opportunity to develop leadership potential while functioning as part of a team, the pride that comes from achievement and the warmth that comes from friendships.

Nobody has ever said that being a member of the Black & Gold Brigade is the easiest way to grow up, but many people believe it’s the best.

Precision, pride, respect, endurance, worth ethic, learning, fans, traveling, friends, leadership, confidence… this is what it is to be a Black & Gold Band Member!

The Values of Marching Band

What we do is more important than you can imagine...

There is a unique and exciting aspect to marching band which young people seldom find available to them elsewhere. Each performance is a special opportunity where students experience a sense of community and realize that the sum of who they are is far greater than any one individual. They have a sense of esteem through unity and expression and understand more than ever the importance of working in tandem with other people. Without it ever being on the curriculum, our young artists are learning how to be team players, how to fit into a community and how to do their fair share. And this may be the greatest lesson of all. The nurturing of the growing performers becomes a high priority as they learn about challenges and standards and discover that the achievement of excellence is a process, not an event.

Marching Band provides a “society” and “family” to which all band students can belong. It is a place where they learn values and standards, where they can learn to depend on one another in their pursuit of their excellence. They learn about responsibility, doing their fair share, and sticking to a common goal. They learn to value people, respect their peers and not make judgments on the superficial. They frequently acquire a stronger base for their adult life than any other avenue open to them.

The thrill of performance, applause and recognition is all too infrequent for many of today’s youth. Without the marching band experience many would never know this joy. There are few opportunities for a young person to learn to be imaginative and creative—qualities that are infinitely important if one is to deal with society today. Few other places teach a young person to measure his or her self worth on standards all too often lost in today’s world. Few educators today have the opportunity to reach students to the degree the band director can because we are able to see students all four years and the growth they have. Band Directors deal with artistic, mathematical, athletic, social, psychological, leadership development of countless boys and girls. We aspire to develop the students’ self-esteem in areas not measured through academic testing, reaching those students whose talents lie beyond the linguistic or the mathematical. Together, we create a “place” for some that would never otherwise know the security offered in a group endeavor. You put in more hours and receive less financial award than any other educator, but few can compare to the “spiritual” reward when you amass that list of successes your students will experience through your singular efforts.

The marching band is the prime visible evidence and marketing device for the Band Program and through half-time shows, parades and competitions.  Through these performances, we are able to reach the community and let them experience the values of what we hold dear as an organization and family.

Only the marching band stirs memories of the better times when fraternalism sparked our society and a more carefree atmosphere prevailed. The marching band is today, as it has always been a celebration of joyful efforts—it holds a promise of healthy and enthusiastic young people, and the marching Band Director and booster parents can make all of this happen. Never doubt the importance of this opportunity. Everything in life worth doing takes gigantic commitment and effort. There is no question that you will be putting forth that kind of energy; there is also no question that the rewards yielded from stronger, more secure, open minded, and committed students will make all the efforts worthwhile.

You will find the energy and motivation grows exponentially just as you will show people the standards and rewards. Marching Band and Music Education is a privilege and a trust of great magnitude. Time and time again, we find that band students are more successful in college, have a stronger work ethic, higher standards and more secure values. Through competitions, they become acquainted with qualities which will serve them well in business and the adult world. They will have the security that they know how to extend their own efforts beyond what the average young adult may set as a limit.

There is a point in a young person’s life when most don’t know themselves or their potential and frankly they don’t know how to discover their potential. Many are so caught up in the social and peer problems of life that they don’t think of potential beyond that area. Marching Band encourages each student to discover his or her personal weaknesses or strengths. It helps the student overcome weakness. Its unusual structure (removal from the classroom to the athletic field) allows for a whole new set of values to be introduced. Portrayal of many roles throughout the drama of the program permits the student to explore a variety of concepts removing him or her from social images based on beauty, athletic skills or popularity success. Here the reward is given to student who makes the commitment, does his or her small job within the “community” of the band and the reward and recognition is given for diligence and effort and the skills that ultimately bring the entire program message to the public view. They learn to trust and respect themselves and they learn to trust and respect others based on an entirely different set of values than the average teenager today experiences. They realize the reward of team effort and the importance each individual plays in making up the team. In some cases it becomes the social arena some youngsters seek but do not find in ordinary circumstances.

We do not judge a child ONLY on achievements in the two most emphasized academic efforts (verbal and mathematical/logical). Kids make their mark in life by doing what they CAN do, not what they can’t. School is important. It opens doors of awareness never before considered. LIFE is MOST important. Being happy is using your skills productively, no matter what they are.

A well taught, well planned marching band program with all of its connection groups (color guard, wind players , etc.) could easily be the most important part of SOME youngsters educational experience. It offers the potential to be a “No Fail” area in a life filled with adolescent pitfalls and problems. Educators in this area carry a special and unique opportunity to touch lives in a dynamic and powerful way. It’s more than just teaching notes; it’s more than just filling up space between touchdowns; it’s more than just dealing with kids who just want an easy “A”. THIS IS ABOUT TEACHING LIFE AND LIFE LESSONS. It’s learning to function in society; it’s about tolerance of others and learning harmony, both musical and personal. It’s laughter, it’s memories, it’s hard work and most of all, it’s the discovery of self worth and self—skills for everyone involved in the process.

Never doubt the worth or the importance of even the most humble marching band experience. QUALITY, not quantity, will measure our success.  So, are you prepared to undertake it and Be Part of the Band?

An exceptional experience in music and life.
A most distinguished performing arts tradition.