It's fall in the south and that means one thing for many people - IT'S FOOTBALL SEASON!
As a professor in the official Titletown USA, and a graduate of FSU, I'd be lying if I told you I didn't follow college football at least a little bit. I may not paint my face garnet & gold every weekend or wax philosophical as GM of a champion fantasy team, but it's hard not to be a fan when the university you teach at has 3 D2 National Championships and the university you recently graduated from has 3 D1 National Championships and consistently ranks high in the polls.
Mrs. & Dr. Rowland Enjoy a Blazer Football Game
For musicians, however, fall and football mean something else - IT'S MARCHING BAND SEASON!
Some VSU Sousas March to the Field for Pre-Game
I must admit that I never really enjoyed marching band as a high-school student. I grew up in north/western Illinois, where marching band started in the hottest part of the year... and ended during the coldest time of the year, especially if the football team did well and found themselves in the playoffs - which they did every year I was in band! It seemed like one moment you couldn't hold your mouthpiece in place from the sweat... and the next moment, you were frozen to it like the poor kid's tongue in A Christmas Story.
Living in the south and interacting with VSU and community students has changed my perspective on marching band immensely. When the students are out there doing something they love to support something they love, there's a buzz in the air - and it's quite infectious.
I mean really - what's not to love about marching band? The students are having fun, playing music they like (I recently heard them rehearsing a Metallica song, which blew my mind! Check out New Acoustic Metal Experiment - one of my tuba quartets - to understand why), supporting a team and university they love, and getting some good exercise to boot.
And if you want to get really serious, marching band has a ton of benefits for students. A quick Google search will tell you all about how marching band encourages teamwork, demands dedication and preparation, helps students make friends and social circles, grows self esteem, is great exercise, and even stimulates brain function! That's right, folks - marching band can make you fitter and smarter! Drop the dumbbells and calculators and pickup a sousaphone and lyre!
Community students and band directors - I'd be happy to come visit to help your sousaphone and baritone sections with music rehearsals, sectionals, sound production, breathing, and more. I can even bring one of my graduate tubists, a VSU Athletic Bands Graduate Assistant, with me to help them master marching techniques (who couldn't use some tips on running halfway across the field in 5 seconds with a sousaphone wrapped around you?). Visit my contact page and send me an e-mail or give me a call. I'd be happy to help!