Marching Band Is Not a Sport

Chapter 1

It was the first marching band rehearsal of the season. Everyone looked forward to it, especially Paige. It was her last marching season, and she wanted to rule the field in her new position as top trumpet.

She stood at a strict attention on the freshly mown and lined practice field, staring past the purple mouthpiece of her heavily-dented beater trumpet. Her gaze didn't falter when the drum major, Sean, walked right in front of her to inspect her attention position.

"Mark time, mark!"

Paige lifted her heals and pushed them into the ground as the lead snare clicked a tempo for the band.

"Ready, halt!"

The clicks stopped as eighty left feet found their place next to the right.

"Band, parade rest!"

Feet spread and instruments dropped as Sean looked to Mr. Tank for instructions. Mr. Tank nodded and Sean turned back to the band shouting, "At ease!"

The band relaxed and held their horns at their sides. A few stretched their arms or touched their toes.

"Alright! Bring it in, everyone!"

The band left their positions and gathered around Mr. Tank.

"Great job today," said Mr. Tank, smiling at everyone. "I'm really looking forward to this season. This may be one of our best summers if we keep up with the kind of practice we had today! Our next rehearsal will be tomorrow, promptly at nine a.m. Until then, relax and be sure to drink plenty of water. Have a great day!"

Paige gave a cheer along with the rest of the band and joined her best friend Becky for the trek from the practice field back to the band room.

"How can you still have so much energy?" Paige asked, watching Becky dance ahead with her piccolo.

Becky laughed, but she slowed down and walked next to Paige. They discussed the rehearsal and how they thought the season would go. They were nearly to the building when they heard:

"Hey, look everyone! It's the marching freaks!"

Paige and Becky just rolled their eyes. They were used to this kind of talk from the other students.

"Why don't you pick a real sport? 'Cause you know, marching band is not a sport!"

Paige stopped walking, trying to control her temper. But when she heard him laughing and doing a pathetic imitation of a marching trumpet player, she spun and faced the guy. She recognized him as Tim, the school's star basketball player.

"You think it's all fun and games we do out there, don't you?" she said approaching him angrily so he backed up a step. "You don't realize how hard we work, do you? Try six hours of rehearsal, in the sun with no hope of finding any shade! Try standing at attention for so long that your knees start to shake, but you can't move. You can't break your gaze. You can't even wipe away the sweat that's dripping from your nose!"

Tim laughed. "Is that all your 'sport' is? Standing still? Anybody can do that!"

Paige lifted her chin defiantly. "Anybody? It takes a special person to endure marching band. Do you think just anybody could maintain a perfect roll step through an entire parade? Do you think that a normal person would put up with those thick, heavy uniforms in eighty degree weather? I'd like to see you try! I'll bet you wouldn't make it through the first parade!"

"I bet I would!"

"Alright then! You're on! Show up for rehearsal tomorrow at nine and I'll show you what marching is really about!"

"Now wait a minute!" Tim tried to interject.

"Well, if you don't think you're up to it…," Paige said, glancing at him with a sly smile. But Tim shook his head vigorously. "Well, if you're so confident, how would you like to make it interesting?" she said, coming closer.

"What do you mean?" asked Tim.

Paige smiled.

E E E E E

Author's note: So, another story about band! What do you think so far? I know it's a little short, but it'll be longer as it goes on. Well, this story features the same band, as you may have noticed. But, Mr. Tank is the only character back so far. I think that I might bring Kyle back as a minor character. It takes place the summer after he, Emily, Jenny, and Rosy all graduate, so they're not in the marching band. I might bring Kyle back as a percussionist leader/helper/I'm not sure what to call it. But it'd be like what the real Kyle's doing…

Anyway, I came up with the idea for this one this weekend, when I was exhausted after a drum & bugle corps competition. I was thinking about how much hard work it is. Then I remembered one time before a marching band performance at half-time when someone yelled "Marching band is not a sport!" Ooh, that made me mad!! I wanted to go over there and slap him or teach him a lesson! Or hand him my clarinet and tell him to try it! So I decided I would… except in story form! I'm really excited about this one! I love Paige's character so far! She's based off my little sister, who also plays trumpet.

Anyway, I hope you liked it so far! Please review!

Love,

Rachel :)