The sun shines down upon a team putting in hours of arduous work on a hot Texas summer day. Exhausted and ready to feel the cool feeling of air conditioning on their burnt skin, the team fights through, preparing for a long, intense season. The slightest mistake could be the difference between glory or failure.
It’s no secret that in Texas the introduction given would automatically bring most citizens minds to go straight to the state’s favorite pastime: football. However, the aforementioned hard work can additionally apply to marching band.
Sounds crazy, right? I’m sure some of the readers may be thinking ‘there’s no way that band puts in as much work as the football team.’ Well, that assertion is simply wrong. While marching band may not be as physically taxing as football on the body, students in marching band certainly do not have it easy. The largest brass instrument, the sousaphone, weighs 35 pounds, a hefty weight to haul on the shoulders of the player. Players of the instrument have to be agile and nimble while marching without error. These are qualities that both the football player and band members need to possess in order to be successful.
While most band members are passionate about sharing their opinion, other members–like Senior, Evan Price–are reluctant to speak up on the debate. Price explained that the arguments between band members and traditional sports players can get “very volatile” on both sides.
Regardless of his feelings about getting involved in the conversation, Price made the case for his fellow band, emphasizing that band “requires physical activity and skill, while offering the potential to compete at a much higher level after high school (DCI), that consists of multiple bands competing and being directly compared with each other.”
Various band members also cited that being considered a sport would help get them receive the funding that they feel they deserve. Funding is extremely important when it comes to marching band, due to the need to improve the quality, uniforms, and props of their varsity show.
While there’s an abundant amount of supporters for band being categorized as a sport, there’s also a fair amount of adversaries to the idea. Surprisingly, Senior Percussionist, Aidan Lee, shared his refutation to the proposition of giving band the sport label.
“Even as a marching band member, I don’t believe it’s a sport” Lee iterated. “When it comes down to the heat of the marching show for competition it does not require the same demands as our 2-3 hours of practice that makes it so difficult.”
Lee finished by adding that “marching band is only physically demanding in practice, not at all times like a sport.” Lee put heavy emphasis on band being a performance art rather than a fine art or a sport. Lee’s opposition seemed to be the most articulate, as other students who wished to comment, such as Senior Emily Klein, kept their opinions on the matter concise and to the point.
“Music is considered a form of art, not a sport,” Klein put very simply.
Hostility can become the highlight of this argument, as both sides are extremely passionate about their respective beliefs. It’s important to hear each other out, and it least give a chance to an idea that may not match one’s own. At the end of the day, think differently: maybe the stereotypical band nerd and sports jock aren’t so different after all.