As the 2009-2010 school year comes to a close—and high school comes to an end for senior students—many students spend these few remaining days as a period of reflection, to look back with nostalgia on fun times and to consider the future’s possibility. And in keeping with this reflective sentiment, the school band hosts an end-of-year banquet as a way of ending the school year.
Each year, the Leesville concert and symphonic bands hold a senior banquet to honor the achievements and contributions made by the band’s senior members during their high school years. Graduating seniors can even choose to give a small speech of gratitude if they so choose.
Most of us in the band have devoted much of our time to the ensemble, in addition to the two blocks we set aside for the two-semester course every year when we plan our academic schedule. But it is nice to return to school at the start of a new semester and resume procedure as if nothing much has changed. The sense of stability one feels from that element consistency, however seemingly scant or unimportant, during those moments in high school when every aspect of the educational process appears dreadful and uncertain, is without parallel. I could have easily taken six other classes with the time I’ve spent in Mr. Albert’s band room. But given the opportunity, I don’t believe I’d have it any other way.
Having been a member of Leesville’s band program for three years now, and having spent the better part of the last five years playing my clarinet with many of the same people, I understand the importance of being in the band. In my experience, the music we play is only secondary to the camaraderie we enjoy during rehearsal and on our spring trips, while preparing for music festivals and breaking the silence between musical movements and quarter rests with mindless chatter. It turns out there is virtue to be found in distraction after all.
The band banquet, which took place Friday, May 28 in the LRHS cafeteria, will serve as an opportunity for the band’s senior members to remember the past and celebrate the future, with a bitter sweetness that is both reluctant and embracing, until it becomes time for them to bid farewell to Leesville and trudge ahead into the rest of their lives.