Thursday, August 05, 2010

Shirtless and marching to his own drummer on the UW-Madison campus


T and I were taking a walk along the lakeshore path of the UW-Madison campus last week. It was one of those impossibly hot, muggy days, relieved only by the whisper of a light, misty rain that was starting to fall. At first we weren't sure what we were seeing when we passed this young man, who just kept repeating these moves. But then we realized this was the UW Marching Band's practice field and that he was a drum major perfecting his moves.

There was something surreal about the way he was so totally immersed in his own world, oblivious to the pedestrians, runners and motor vehicles going by (as they were oblivious to him). The more we watched, the more impressed we were by his solitary focus and dedication. He stood in for all the performers and athletes everywhere whose effortless performances are the result of hours and hours and hours of dedicated practice. His concentration was contagious. Although he was wearing none of the usual drum major regalia, we could hear the booming of the bass drums, the blaring of the brass instruments, the rhythmic tempo of the march, and by the time he reached the other end of the field, we had imagined an entire stadium filled with tens of thousands of people. As he took his bow, the applause was thunderous. We hoped he heard it.

10 comments:

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

Lovely little video. Thoughtful comments.

karichuckroryskylar said...

Nice grab.

em said...

Love this! :)
(As a 5 year member of the marching band!!)

k*thy said...

It's funny - I saw someone out there a couple of days ago, as well. No baton, but definitely band member practicing, sans instrument. I had the exact same thoughts as you...

Barb said...

I'm very proud to say that this dedicated and talented young man is my son. He's practicing for drum major tryouts next Sunday. Please join me in wishing him good luck!

Madison Guy said...

Thanks for letting us know, Barb -- and good luck to your son! Keep us posted.

robinita said...

Great post. Came to it from UW website!

Anonymous said...

Eat a Rock! And On Wisconsin!

Barb said...

Dear Madison Guy and others: Just wanted to clarify that my name is actually Donna. I'm using my sister's Google login info since I didn't have an account. I didn't realize it would show up as written by Barb. Sorry! Also, your article was beautifully written... It gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. Of course, those are the eyes of the Mom reading this article! :o) Thank you for stopping and taking the time to observe. It will be a nice way for us to remember these special days in his life.

Barb said...

(Donna said) - Here's an update for those who might be interested. Drum Major tryouts were held today. The band member in this video, Nick (my son), was named Assistant Drum Major for the upcoming season. Congratulations, Nick!!! Last year's Drum Major will have the lead spot again this year. Thanks again, Madison Guy, for this lovely little article. I've been told by several band alumni that my son is becoming somewhat of a legend as your article and video are being passed around between band alumni everywhere. You've brought many great memories of the pride, dedication, and great joy it was to be part of this great band.