This blog is a few days late.
Allow me, please, to introduce you to George N. Parks. He was the director of the UMASS Minuteman Marching Band and the founder of the George N. Parks Drum Major Acadamy. I was one of the last students to attend the acadamy this summer before he passed away recently. You would not believe the presence this man had. You cannot imagine how he could bring over 600 people from roaring with laughter at a joke to silence or tears in a moment with a heartbreaking or inspirational story. I went to the acadamy for drum major training and certification so that I could lead and conduct the band with my fellow drum major, Kim during this fall's football season. Taking a leadership position doesn't just mean doing something that's going to further you or your career goals. When you take a leadership position, you affect other people in ways you cannot possibly comprehend. Mr. Parks knew that, and he knew how to bring out the best in us.
When your friends graduate, when the leaders of clubs or a garage band you're a part of or friends you work with move on and away, you're often left with a new batch of people to take their place. In band, I lost my best friends year after year until this season there were nearly none left. There is a reason for it, though. It's my turn to make band special. It's your turn to make things special for other people. Every word or action that's tied to you has a ripple affect that goes so far you can't see it.