Monday, October 17, 2011

"It's Never Too Late To Be What You May Have Become."

Mary Anne Evans (from Wikipedia)
This is something George N. Parks taught me. It comes from the quote "It is never too late to be who you might have been," which is a George Eliot quote. It was also my quote in the senior yearbook. "George Eliot" is the pseudonym (pen name) of novelist Mary Anne Evans. Fun fact for you all.

This quote and the man I first heard it from are some of the most important inspirations I have ever had in my life. ("In My Life" being one of my favorite things about UD Marching Band. Another fun fact.) Attending the Drum Major Academy under the leadership of George N. Parks made me into who I am, who I begun to forget I am. The drum major who once showed up an hour earlier than the rest of the band now struggles to make it to rehearsal on time, often forgetting things. The drum major who received comments such as "great intensity," "marching technique was awesome," "does not project" and "listening skills are awesome" is now the newly-not-rookie freshman bando struggling to be on the level of the vets.

I'm done with it.

I found my folder tonight. My green marbled folder from the first half of my senior year of high school. I opened it to find "If Ye Love Me" staring me in the face, along with a cluster of notes all in different handwriting, music scores, drill charts, and long lists with "DRUM MAJOR ACADEMY" printed at the top. Reading the notes, my evaluations from drum majors leading different squads at the academy (which I quoted above,) reminded me that I need to get out of the mindset that I am so inferior to everyone, that myself is not good enough. I am good at marching. Last night I attended a St. Mark's football game and was invited to co-conduct with the drum majors for a song. Will Broelmann, another past drum major, was also invited to conduct. He pointed out that it wouldn't be appropriate. That he wrote their drill. And I agreed. I handed the glove back to Megan Feick, one of drum major Kim Anguish and my successors. I gave them tips on conducting. I conveyed messages to the band. I reminded them to pay attention to the drum majors.

So there I was, falling naturally into the position of teacher.
It is all I could be to them now as a band.

St. Mark's Drum Majors, Eyes With Pride. (Kim Anguish, John Young, Will Broelmann, Carissa Carlson.)

I love band. It's all about fun, music, having pride.
DMA, UDMB, and all the people who have helped and inspired me, especially the Alto Staff members this year, have made me a better person and a better band member. I'm better than I was before. And it makes me feel so happy to realize that. I want to improve. I need to get on the Alto vets' level. Not for me, but for the band, and for my band. I need to be an example, a cog in the machine, a piece of the perfect puzzle, and a self-confident team player like I was only a few months ago.

It's one of my biggest dreams to instruct for a marching band. I'm little more than average with playing music in my own opinion, but I can definitely help others achieve their musical and marching potential, and that makes me very happy. I want so badly to assist a high school band director one day during the marching season. In order to do that, I need to be a lot better than I have been. It's never too late to be.

I can only dream of becoming a teacher like George N. Parks, Heidi I. Sarver, Arthur Bookout, Mrs. Healey, Mrs. Reilly, or any of the other truly inspiring teachers I've had. Far too many to count. That's not true, though... I can't only dream of it. I can be it. I didn't march at all my freshman year of high school. I had nothing to do with band. Sophomore year I joined as a band manager, the guy who pushed things around for the pit and sets things up for the dance team with Patrick Kilgore, one of my best friends. I only marched tenor sax for one year, and figured I wasn't good enough to dare lead anyone. But I did it anyway. It was truly an honor to serve as a drum major, and it was an honor to work with Kim Anguish, literally one of the most applauded drum majors at the academy. It wasn't too late to go for it. And I'm not beyond being able to carry my own weight now.

It's flat out impossible for me to list and write about each person who has inspired me. Sometimes I just want to geek out to the current UD drum majors asking about how excited they must be to get to do what they do. I wish I could write an entire post on Bookout or Sarv or even the current two drum majors at SMH, Megan Feick and Kara Barbes. Those two especially have a lot of energy and from what I hear, really stuck their neck out during band camp to put some energy into the band. I could write a book on these people.

Kara and Megan, from Facebook.

Keeping in mind the last post I made, I know this is a lot about me. But I needed to write this. I've been very hard on myself this year when it comes to my self esteem, and uncharacteristically lazy when it comes to everything else in band, but it's time I told myself to stop projecting, to remember that I am a certified drum major who is one of the very last to have learned from the very best. It's awesome and very preferable to be humble and not let your ego swell, but allowing your ego to disappear is something a drum major can't do.

Starred Thoughts,
straight from the notes I took at DMA, from the mouth of the man I don't want to let down:

* Make moms happy.
* Inspire musicians to do well.
* Expand your circle
* Make a good first impression
* When teaching, you must do the right things and the things right.
*You must have a plan with a schedule for a successful rehearsal.
* Positive thinking is everything
* You are not judged on your attitude...
* ...You are judged on what they think your attitude is.
* Develop your personality.
* Avoid confrontation on the field.
* Do not take yourself too seriously.
* Never let your ego destroy you.
* When things get tough, don't give up.
* Judge people for who they are, not who you want them to be.
* You have no control of anyone.
* Be a great teacher. Have skill.
**** Get a RESPONSE to know if they're paying attention. ****
* Be a teacher who cares.

I will make band special.



    Heidi I Sarver: Many thoughts Johnny, many thoughts. Let's just leave at at this one though: Follow your dreams.

    Johnny Young: Thanks, Sarv. It means a lot.

    Megan Feick: Johnny, thank you so much for this. YOU are truly inspirational and a great role model. Don't ever let any one tell you otherwise. *With Pride*

    Kara Barbes: ‎^agreed. This was a pleasant surprise to my evening, and thank you for that. :) :) You know, it's not too late to write an entire blog post on Megan and I ;))) loljk. I love and miss you :)

  2. Megan Feick oh yeah, love and miss you too!! :)