I turned in my mellophone after last night’s Lakeshoremen Open House.
There were several reasons I decided not to march in 2006, but the membership was definitely not one of those reasons. Everyone was supportive of my decision, and they all seemed to understand, but they really didn’t want me to go. Kemo tried to convince me to attend a few early rehearsals, so we’d have an easier time recruiting mellos, and Ann and Mona kept asking if I’d changed my mind yet.
Really, though, after two years (winter, spring, and summer) of driving to Michigan every other weekend, I’m finding that I’d rather enjoy my weekends with my husband instead. Maybe we can be social sometimes, instead of cramming all our chores and laundry and shopping into one day. Maybe attend some of the weekend-long anime conventions we had to pass on last year. Yes, this is a bit of a selfish decision, I suppose — but this is the time to be selfish, before Aaron and I start a family.
I felt a little more secure about leaving the mello line after seeing the new talent, though. Amber’s returning, and there’s two or three new mellos (depending on whether Courtney ends up being drum major); so, even with me leaving and Duane opting to focus on writing and cleaning drill instead of marching, there’s still a solid core of three or four strong mellos (assuming we don’t scare any of them off). The goal for 2006 is five mellos, so we’re well on our way.
I was pleasantly surprised at not only the number of new people at the Open House, but also at the quality of the overall sound we produced. LSM just keeps getting better and better earlier and earlier every year. The hornline had 19 returning and prospective members total, and there are still a few returning members who couldn’t make the Open House. I think that, if everyone does their part with recruiting, we’ll fill out the hornline this year with no problem. Three tubas (or contras, if you prefer), five mellos, ten baris and ten trumpets (or sopranos, again, if you’re old-school). I think we can do it.
And, yes, I still say “we” because I’m still involved with LSM, despite my not marching. I’m still the webmaster, and I’m still a member at-large of the Board of Directors. (That said, anything I state on my personal site should not by any means be construed to be the official word of the Lakeshoremen. Check lakeshoremen.org for official news.)
It’s like Dan said:
Once you grow up and move on, it’s nice to actually MOVE ON. If you have something positive in your life to devote your attention to, why spend your time and energy on a chapter that is admittedly closed? The glory days of youthful summers are gone, but the heady days of mature summer can kick just as much ass, though in a different way.
I say you can give back to drum corps any way you want, but explore the next chapter of life with the same enthusiasm with which you explored your youth.
As much as I hate to let go of performing, I think I have to agree.