I had a great time with my wife, mother in-law and my son Jake last weekend at the West Memphis HS Band Competition. My niece, Shelby, participated and did a great job with the Senatobia Marching Band. She's part of the auxiliary. She plays with the band as well (flute) during regular concert season.
But it brought back some great memories. The band at the high school where I went has kind of fallen on tough times over the past few years. Part of it is leadership. It's embarrassing to watch them march when I see them in a parade. Shelby's band (and every band I saw this weekend) is playing at a very different and much higher level of performance. In a word, all the bands were "tight".
The band director when I was in school, ironically named "Ben King", was a very good conductor, teacher, and leader. We also had a culture then where the sports players played in the band and it was considered "cool". Nowadays, things are so "specialized".
But I truly think leadership is what inspires the future. It was really exciting to see the young people this past weekend and it brought back some great memories. I thought about Mr. King this weekend. I may not be a professional saxophone player, but band and his leadership changed my life. I hope Shelby relishes these experiences.