Senior Column: Erin Kelly

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Senior Column: Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly, managing editor

The summer before freshman year, I told my mom I was quitting band. I’d stuck with it through the three-hour middle school concerts and predictable laughter when people learned I played the trombone. I felt I’d patiently paid my musical dues, but I was done. I mean, I was headed to high school, for crying out loud. I wasn’t about to waste the best four years of my life marching during halftime when I could be cheering with my friends in the student section. I was way too cool for that.

My mom didn’t agree.

So, two weeks before the start of freshman year, I dutifully headed to “band camp” to get whipped into KHS marching band shape. It did not leave me with a positive first impression. I came from Nipher Middle School, so I was pretty excited to meet the North Kirkwood Middle School trombone players. But, when my friends and I were debating the color of a T-shirt shirt and asked a NKMS trombone player what color he thought it was, he nonchalantly responded, “Before or after I stab you?” You can’t make that kind of stuff up.

 Fast forward four years and thankfully band has redeemed itself. It’s definitely an eclectic group, but I’ve made some of my best friends through band.”

Fast forward four years and thankfully band has redeemed itself.
It’s definitely an eclectic group, but I’ve made some of my best friends through band. Let’s face it, it’s hard not to bond while you’re marching in either 90 or 20 degree weather during third hour each day (there’s no in-between). Band has also given me the opportunity to explore some pretty neat places, thanks to band trips to Chicago and Nashville. I was even fortunate enough to get to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York, which was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for me.  

As far as actual trombone skills go, I consider myself absolutely mediocre. I’ve been known to write in slide positions above every note, and I’ve never had high aspirations for chair placements, considering my fellow trombonists were accepted at Juilliard and Stanford. I’m not even sure if my trombone will be making the trip to Vermont next fall.

But I love that band is about way more than musical talent. It’s about cheering on your section as they race around on chairs during Band Olympics. It’s about screaming “bones” as loud as you can during the motivational speech before each halftime show. It’s about supporting your friends and, of course, getting Oberweis ice cream with them after every concert.

Ironically, while I was choosing my schedule for junior year, my mom suggested I drop band so I could have an IP. It made sense I really could’ve used that IP but I told her I had to stay in band; I simply couldn’t imagine my high school experience without it.

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