Alumni Band Sherbie Jared Hampson

What Do the Cheerleaders Do?

Last weekend I attended the Alumni Band for my high school homecoming game. (Go Bobcats!) Returning to the school after so many years was a unique experience. I have been to the school since graduation, but the last time I was there was about ten years ago to play for the musical shows they were doing.

Even in that amount of time, there have been changes to the physical appearance of the school including an abundance of flowers on the drive leading to the music wing. In my mind, I continue to "see" the road as it was when it was new with no ornamentation to it. The band room has changed a little with better acoustic modifications and less bright colors for decor. Some things have not changed: the enthusiasm of the students for the band program and the football team, the energy of the high school students, the dedication to performing their show at a very high level, and the friendships they have made. Those are some things I miss about high school.

I was so pleased to have one of my current students there as the section leader. It was so gratifying to see the way she led the section with tuning and setting the example of how to act. There was also a flutist friend of mine from high school who was part of the Alumni Band. It was great to catch up with her and to see her still playing after all this time.

One comment she made has stuck with me: "What do the cheerleaders do?" In music, you can come back to school and be a part of the experience again. You can re-live those old friendships and be part of something bigger than yourself. There is nostalgia for the people who are no longer with us and a strong remembrance of the fun and sometimes crazy things you did in high school and especially in band. I feel like a lot of people who were very involved in high school activities, no longer have the opportunity to re-live those experiences. Music has the power to uplift us and bring us together, and maybe for a few moments, take us back in time...

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