Close this search box.

Now That’s Scary

Trey Reely | October 2014

    One of the most memorable halftime shows from my high school days was a game that fell on Halloween. We were allowed to dress up in costumes of our choice, which was a welcome freedom from the heavy green wool uniforms and stifling plastic overlays. For all the joy it brought, one would think I could remember what I dressed up as, but I cannot. I do remember that we played the Addams Family theme while characters from a local spook house were supposed to float about; unfortunately they didn’t show up, making us look rather silly.
    I suppose many can recount a Halloween experience in which they were scared out of their wits or scared someone else out of theirs. As startling as such experiences can be, they are nothing compared to things band directors face on a daily basis. Here are some things that are truly scary:

    Five trombone players in a tight group smiling and snickering.
    Hearing your name and then muted (or not-so-muted) laughter.
    Having a bandroom full of students that goes completely silent, followed by the words, “He’s coming!” while you are in your office.
    A fifty-piece pep band with ten drummers.
    A band director with a commercial driver’s license.
    A father with pliers and a stuck mouthpiece.
    When a student says, “You look nice today.”
    When a student begins with, “Uh…you’re not gonna like this, but…”
    The loud clang of an instrument hitting the floor.
    A principal who returns from a conference or reads a new book.
    When the band mangles a tricky passage during the last rehearsal before a contest.
    When a new student walks in with a purple clarinet.
    When a trumpet player buys a new mouthpiece over the internet.
    Acting uncharacteristically silly only to realize a student is laughing while recording you on a smart phone.
    A band director with a powerful metronome.
    An important solo that only one person is able to play.
    Four first-year marching bass drummers.
    When a student says, “Yes, sir,” or “Yes, ma’am.”
    The superintendent wants to choose your flags.
    When a principal walks into your room “just to listen.”
    You arrive at a new job where half the band students say something like, “I can play the flute, saxophone, trumpet, piano, or trombone.”
    A color guard member spinning a flag near a trumpet soloist.
    A flute player helping load the band truck.
    A saxophone player who discovers Kenny G.
    Realizing you have been teaching longer than your new assistant has been alive.
    After a less-than-stellar performance, having a parent say, “I posted yesterday’s concert on YouTube!”