One of the things I am going to miss the most about college, besides the sports, is marching band.
The Gold Star Marching Band of NDSU (in Fargo, N.D.) will start their band camp later this month. And even though I am done with college, I really wish I could go back and be part of the band for one last year because being in the NDSU marching band was the most fun I have ever had and I will miss the band more than anything else about my college years.
My marching band career started in my last two years of high school. Once I graduated from high school, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in marching band any more. But when I found out NDSU had a marching band I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to continue my marching career.
Moving to Fargo as a freshman, I didn’t know many people at school, so marching band was where I got the chance to meet new people without having to try too hard. Throughout my four years in the band, I met a lot of people I am still friends with today and a few of them have become my best friends who I will hopefully keep in touch with for the rest of my life.
But aside from making friends in marching band, the GSMB became my escape from the rigours of classes and homework. I could always look forward to going to practice every Monday, Wednesday and Friday where I would be able to lose myself in the music and the marching. It gave me a chance to refocus my mind and relax before hitting the books.
However, practices weren’t always super fun or relaxing. There were times the wind got so fast that it became hard to move around the field, let alone keep your music where you could see it. And other times we got rained on, snowed on and every so often, we got hailed on.
And on the worst days, it got so cold that there was no possible way to stay warm even when you were wearing multiple layers of winter gear. But there were still super special occasions when everything hit us all at once, making practice anything but enjoyable.
Even with the weather in Fargo constantly being against me and the rest of the band, practice was where I wanted to be because it was the way we learned our shows.
And performing at the Fargodome is what I loved doing more than anything else when it came to marching band. Not only was it just fun to be on such a big stage, but it was also extremely peaceful and somewhere I could lose myself in the performance, even if for just a little while.
The feeling I got while performing was unlike anything else I have ever felt. It was a lot like what I used to feel while playing hockey, but with music instead of ice. I can’t really explain it, but I always came away from any hockey game or marching band performance feeling alive and happy. It is one of the biggest things I will miss about marching band.
With four years of marching at NDSU under my belt, there are a ton of experiences that I will always remember. However, the best experience, and the one that will stay with me the longest, is when the band got the chance to play at the FCS National Championship game in Frisco, Texas. That is one trip I will never forget for the rest of my life. We played out hearts out throughout the whole game, both in the stands and on the field, and had thousands of Bison fans cheering us on from all around the stadium. That is a feeling like nothing else.
And the fact that NDSU won the game was just an added bonus that made the whole experience just that much better.
But, like I said before, I am going to miss being part of the NDSU marching band, but I know that the members will continue the legacy of the Gold Star Marching Band and make me proud the call myself a Bison and an alumni of the GSMB.