Energies: Potential (A Photo Tribute to Marching Bands, Part I)

Introduction — and My Marching Band Withdrawal

After four years with a mellophone player in the American Fork High School Marching Band, our household is marching band-free. For me there are some withdrawal pangs.

In those four years I went to show after show; visited band camp a few times; made a feature-length documentary about the band and a shorter video tribute to a retiring director, John Miller; dabbled at social media; wrote press releases, blog posts, and newspaper features; edited others’ newspaper columns about the marching band experience; and attended one competition after another.

I worked with parents and other boosters, directors, and staff from print and broadcast media outlets. I even sent the trumpet I played through my first year of college to Grand Nationals and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, to be played, of course, by someone much younger.

Along the way I met more fine people than I can count — and not just band students. Virtually everyone I met seemed to know what I tried to remember throughout: We weren’t the story. The story was — is — the kids, their music, their show.

I am not a photographer, as you will quickly see, but I snapped some photos along the way. Here are a few from state and regional competitions in St. George, Utah, last fall. I offer them to help us get in the mood for marching band, if we’re not already, and perhaps also to relieve my withdrawal symptoms.

Guest: Jeff Rodeback – BYU Athletics and Keeping It in Perspective

Jeff Rodeback

After BYU’s disappointing first-round tournament loss Ole Miss tonight, I found myself wishing that BYU cared more about its big-name sports. Maybe then the Cougars would win more high-profile games.

But the fact is that BYU doesn’t care about sports. Tom Holmoe might disagree with me, but it’s true. BYU does not care about sports, at least not in the way other big-name schools do.

Shortly after Bronco Mendenhall became BYU’s football coach, I attended a meeting where he discussed the interviews he had before becoming head coach. His final interview was with then-Elder Henry B. Eyring of the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Eyring’s job was to decide whether or not to hire Bronco.

In the interview, Elder Eyring didn’t mention football once. They talked about education, missions, the importance of the late teens and early twenties, the way BYU fits into the mission of the LDS Church, and just about everything else besides football. After that interview, Bronco got the job.

Fast forward a few years, and I was working for BYU’s police department. I wasn’t a police officer, but I worked closely with police officers and was heavily involved in security and traffic management on campus and at athletic events. Part of my job included writing parking tickets — and I gave plenty of parking tickets to well-known athletes.