First off, if you haven't cast your vote for the Best High School Marching Band in the Ark-La-Tex - do so right away!  Just click the button below, and vote away!  It all wraps up on Monday the 4th at midnight.

I was in 2 vastly different High School bands growing up, and I loved them both.  I was a proud member of the Mt. Pleasant High School Tiger Band, and the Gladewater High School Bear Band.  The differences in the two are small, but the similarities are what make marching band kids some of the toughest and most underappreciated team members in the world.

When it comes to what marching band expects from its individual members, I will admit other high school sports and team activities might be more physically demanding - but don't think that makes band kids slackers.  Sure, they aren't getting hit in tackling drills or enduring two-a-days - but they do spend a good portion of their summer vacation practicing drill after drill in the blazing sun.  They also have to master the music that their halftime shows are choreographed to, then they have to perform the show and play the music at the same time in front family, friends, and the opposing school.

The pressure can be grueling when you know that everyone in the band is expected to hit every mark and make every turn so precisely that the group disappears and a well timed mechanical marvel appears in its place.  The illusion is only complete when all of the pieces fit together perfectly.  It can be easy to overlook the incredible amount of hard work and practice that go into a show like this - so make sure you don't.

The next time you're at the game cheering on your Alma Mater, think twice about missing the half time show to get some more nachos.  But, get some nachos when the band is done.  The band needs that concession money for their trip.

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