I discovered this video of my high school’s marching band show via a dear friend from high school who was in the band and somehow found it on youtube. Like her, I am amazed to see footage from our freshman year on youtube (umm, we didn’t really have the internet so much when I was in high school). And I was a bit shocked to realize it was seventeen years ago — so, a tiny baby in the stands in this video could now be the drum major!

I was not in the marching band, but I have to admit I *wept* watching this video (and in this case, it’s not just hormonal, but real live tears, ok?). It totally took me back to freshman year, watching our high school football games. As I recall, the actual football team was not fantastic that year. But the band was. There was  intense competition between our band and that of our rival, Irmo High School. In 1991, Lexington won state championships.

Irmo was like the fancy school across the lake, and we were the rednecks in the farm fields. Now shopping centers sit on many of those fields, so I don’t know how the stereotypes are holding up.

I remember this show — set to Dvorak’s New World Symphony — as one of the Best Marching Band Shows of All Time.  In fact, when I hear an orchestra play the real New World Symphony, I am always a little disappointed not to hear that loud-brass-marching-band delicious sound.

I have not seen pictures or videos or heard recordings of the good ole’ Lexington High School band show in, oh, the past 16 years or so.  And I tend to really inflate things in my memory, so I was not sure how the vid would hold up.  But I have to say, I was pretty impressed, even though the actual video quality is pretty poor  (remember we did not have fancy digital video cameras in 1991).  Back in high school, I was so distracted by the music and costumes, I didn’t even realize all those crazy marching figures they were doing! sheesh.

The band’s rendering of the New World Symphony was also the soundtrack for many of my older sister’s home cross-country meets or practices. We could hear the band practicing as she ran around the corn field, into the woods and back towards the school.

So since then, whenever I hear the New World Symphony, I picture my sister running, my friend playing her trumpet and the color guard holding up these silly golden skirt wings that made it look like they were flashing the crowd.

Watching this video, I was suddenly back there in my wonderfully normal childhood — at a football game in the suburbs of South Carolina, standing in the student section, wearing my floppy yellow jacket, probably dreaming of Rush’s french fries.

That was almost half my life ago.

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