Gratitude, and a bit of nostalgia

Today is the national marching band championship in Indianapolis.

On this day, I’m especially grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had to participate with marching bands and drum corps over the last 18 years, first as a performer, and then as a teacher.

I’m grateful to have been a member of the marching band at my high school, and for all that I learned from Dennis Smith, Todd Foster, and others.

I’m grateful to have been a member of the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps, where I learned not only about performance and music, but about success in life, thanks to Greg Orwoll and the rest of the Colts family.

DCI Finals, 1998
(DCI Finals, 1998)

I’m grateful to have been able to teach the front ensemble at my alma mater, and to work with Mr. Smith, Todd Foster, Michelle Sapadin and many others, and to have helped win the first percussion caption award in school history in 1999.

I’m grateful to have quite randomly ended up in Macomb, where I’ve been able to teach the front ensemble and then the full drumline of a great marching band for the last 11 years, with great competitive success. I’ve worked with great teachers like Mr. Wetmore, Mr. Zahnle, Mr. Howard, and Mr. Mattsey. I’ve had great help from former students like Leandro Pelayo, Xavier Zahnle, Allyson Ray, Michelle Kenny, Kelsey Drea, Dan Reem, and Chris Norton.

I’m grateful for all of the students I’ve had over the years, from the seniors at Red Mountain in 1998, to the freshmen at Macomb in 2013. I hope you learn as much from me as I do from you. You are all truly awesome.

Finally, I am grateful for all that I’ve learned and experienced through marching band and drum corps. I truly believe in the Colts mission statement, that “we use music and excellence to teach each other about success in life.” Any success I’ve achieved in life, I owe at least in part to my experience with marching band and drum corps. To all of my friends, teachers, students, and colleagues, I thank you.

…and here’s hoping for many more great years, great teachers, great students, and great friends.