What I learned in Texas

By Ryan Eyster, Staff Writer

As many of you may know, the band took a trip down to San Antonio, Texas around New Years’ to play the halftime show at the Alamo Bowl.

The bus departed from Iola at 9:15 p.m.; we were going to drive through the night and arrive in the morning, hop off the bus, and play a show. Space Jam was put on the whole-bus entertainment system, and everyone was chatting about anything imaginable. Music, life, philosophy, politics … It’s amazing what band kids will talk about when confined to a bus for twelve hours.

We arrived at the hotel the following morning around 9 a.m. We uncased and warmed up, with many hotel guests peeking into the event to see what was causing the ruckus. After a short bus ride, the band walked down to a small stage along the river. That morning we learned that Southern Texas isn’t warm all year round.

Later that day, being New Years’, there was a nice dinner with a small celebration following. I learned the gutsy nature of a few of my fellow band members when they marched up to the first pretty girl they saw and asked them to dance.

The next day, we had a rehearsal to practice for the upcoming half time show, and it was outside in 35 degree freezing rain. Woodwind have foam pads underneath the keys, so they can’t get wet or they will rot. So, all of the flutes, saxophones, and clarinets had to case their instruments up. We stood outside in the rain for the three hour rehearsal with no instruments.

Finally, it was game day. The sum total of the whole band’s anticipation for the previous four months had led up to this. There was a quick review rehearsal, lunch time at Fuddruckers, and then it was game time. Half time rolled around, and we marched on the field, played the show, and marched off.

The bus was loaded, the band was de-suited, and everyone went to bed.

All in all, our band grew closer together. Lengthy hours on the road with others can really teach you about a person, or even a group of people as a whole.