Fresno Christian High School
96° Fresno, CA
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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Bando for life

I have been blessed with a great group of friends during my high school career. I affectionately call them, ìthe Band,î literally. Almost all of the friendships I have had in high school have begun in band.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that when many students hear the word ìbandî they conjure up an image of a skinny nerd wearing tape on his glasses marching around in circles while his face turns purple from blowing his brains out. No one wants to be this person, and I cannot say that I blame them.

This picture is far from the truth. Band is not a secret nerd club that votes out the member each week whose pocket protector holds the least pens; rather we are a group of fun loving individuals who are held together by our common love of music and our friendships.

Now, I will not deny that on occasion we deserve the title, ìBando.î We do not try to hide the fact that we have been caught running around wearing orange ponchos over our maroon uniforms (a rather unique fashion statement) or that we once laid motionless on the floor of the band room for eight minutes trying to turn off the motion sensitive lights. We have even played as loud as we can in the parking lot during marching practice just to see how many car alarms we can set off.

All of these things, however, are just part of the experience, and band was not always this way. In fact, a few years ago it was radically different because we had a different director.

When I joined band in the fifth grade it was under the direction of Ray Johnson. I can still remember the day he came to our classroom and asked us who wanted to be in band and what we wanted to play. That day changed my life.

I have never regretted my decision to join band. Learning to play the clarinet from Mr. Johnson was like learning from your grandfather. He was always kind and patient, even with little kids making awful screeching noises that must have driven him crazy.

Band changed for everyone my eighth grade year when Mr. Johnson retired in the Spring of 2001. Paul McEntee took his place and he turned band upside down. To be honest, he scared me at first. Mr. Mac was much more outspoken than Mr. Johnson and he brought many new ideas to the band program.

Then I realized that I had seen him before as an elementary counselor at Mount Hermon Christian Summer Camps when I was in first and second grade. I remembered him as the counselor who used to play his tuba behind the Day Camp building while the other counselors told us stories about the ìcreek elephantsî and who once put peanut butter in his armpits during a skit, pretending that it was deodorant.

In spite of all this, Mr. Mac has proven to be a valuable addition to the music program. He has worked to make us better musicians and has pushed us beyond where we thought we could go. After every achievement he asks what we can do better and how we can raise the bar a little higher for our next performance. His dedication has inspired bandos like myself to see exactly what we can accomplish.

Band has meant everything to me during high school. It has given me a reason to get up in the morning and look forward to going to school. It gave me some of the best friends I will probably ever meet and it gave me the chance to be myself, which has meant more to me than anyone could ever understand.

I am not one of those people who ìfits in.î I am not cool or popular, but band has made me realize that it doesnít matter. Whether I like it or not, I am a bando for life. I will always unconsciously march in step whenever I hear music and I will always become annoyed whenever my car blinker is not on beat with the radio.

I am a bando, and I love it.

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