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A Connection Between Marching Band And Sports

2369 words - 10 pages

With four and a half minutes left of halftime, Annandale High School’s football coach, Michael Scott, forces the marching band off the field by shaking the drum major’s podium repetitively. Nevertheless, Michael brought his football players onto the field and did not realize that he was being disrespectful to the band, especially on senior night (Devorak). After participating in marching band for 7 years, marching bands do not receive the credit, recognition, and satisfaction that they deserve for the amount of hard work and time that is put forth into making a season successful. However, when the time comes for school boards to balance their budgets, marching band is usually the first extracurricular activity to get cut or does not have the adequate funds (Kerchner and Abril 249). Within the past few weeks, Hempfield school district was faced with the dreaded decision to either cut the marching band or rearrange their bus schedule (Knapp). Even though marching band is not considered a sport, did anyone think that it could qualify to be one? According to dictionary.com, a sport is defined as: “An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of competitive nature” (“Sport”). Arguably, marching band has the capabilities of being recognized as a sport because of the physical activity, skill, and competition that encompasses each band program.
Earlier in history, marching bands encompassed the vision of being associated with the military. World War I embraced this style of marching when a military style band played martial and patriotic songs to soldiers that needed morale-boosting effects (Madsen, Plack, and Dunnigan 55). However, this style of marching band faded in the later nineteenth century to give rise to a new style of marching band that would be based around athletic events. Marching band transitioned to support the sport of football by combining the military style of marching with new forms of entertainment (Madsen, Plack, and Dunnigan 55). In 1897, the University of Michigan’s band played regularly at football games and seven years later, Northwestern University played solely at athletic events (Madsen, Plack, and Dunnigan 55). Then in 1909, Albert Austin Harding, the director of bands at the University of Illinois is the first credited to performing a show that involved forming letters while playing an instrument (Madsen, Plack, and Dunnigan 55). Marching band has developed tremendously over the past few decades to develop new entertainment to the audience, while still keeping the old style of military marching at hand. Even though marching band is becoming more advanced with the music and drill (writing the moves to the show), the financial stability of the economy is not allowing some marching bands to grow to their full potential. Most of them are either being cut completely from their schools budget or the funds are being dramatically reduced. In Musical Experiences In Our Lives: Things We Learn and Meanings We...

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