Save your words and show some respect

Libbie Smith ’18 holds the long range speaker as the band practices marching on the track. The band had early morning practice everyday starting at seven during the marching band season.

I’m standing off to the sideline waiting to run onto the field excited to be playing my first Friday night game. I’m excited to show the people there, especially my parents, what we’ve been working on for most of the past summer as well as every morning for the last two months. We get the signal and run to set up our first set as fast as possible; the crowd is clapping as we finish preparations for our show. The drum major raises his hands to start the count off and we all watch with bated breath, just waiting to begin. We’ve practiced and I feel calm about anything that could happen: a dropped stick, a wrong note, a missed run.

Everything could go wrong, but I’m prepared for it because I’ve been told to just keep going. We begin our first song and I focus on everything the seniors have told me; I’m going to try my best to make this run near perfect.

The only problem: the people in the football stands who just won’t shut up. All of the time marching band put into these songs to make it so we can perform at this speed and volume, goes down the drain as we attempt to listen back, but we can’t because of all the people who just won’t stop talking. My very first Friday night was ruined by people who wouldn’t stop talking and it sure wasn’t the last time.

It’d be awesome if the entire stadium would just stop and listen, but that’s just not what the atmosphere is built for,”

— Jason Heeren

Halftime has always been a time for both the dance team and the marching band to show students and parents alike what they’ve been spending so much time on, and for some parents, it’s the only time for them to see the kid perform. It’s not just the parents who are losing out on hearing the band; it’s also the band that loses out on hearing themselves.”It is too bad that some of the Friday night games are the only opportunity for parents to catch the live performance but hopefully, we get good videos [on Saturdays],” band director Jason Heeren said.

I’ve noticed that as time has gone on, I’ve gotten better at listening back but the sophomore year and the first few games of the junior year have haunted me since. “It’d be awesome if the entire stadium would just stop and listen, but that’s just not what the atmosphere is built for,” Heeren said.

It’s not just on Friday nights that I’ve noticed people won’t stop talking even if they’re told to or they know they shouldn’t. It’s an everyday problem that our society has when confronted with a social situation.

People never stop talking, not during classes or during assemblies. The only time people actually stop talking for more than five minutes is when they absolutely have to stay silent because if they don’t then there will be consequences (i.e if someone’s taking a final or an AP test or the ACT). I’m not trying to say that people talking all the time is bad, because it’s not since that’s how most stories are still shared, it’s just when people decide to keep talking and not pay attention to someone else they have no right to be mad when that person does the same thing to them. Yes, it’s frustrating when people cut you off or don’t pay attention when you’re saying something important, but if you’re going to be disrespectful then so can other people.

While the crowd, and people in everyday situations, being completely quite for other people is a pipe dream that will never happen, the least spectators could do is try to be quieter. “In the past, at the old stadium, our audience has been awesome about being engaged with watching the marching band show and being respectful and listening, so that’s been great [but] that’s not typical,” Jeffrey Robilliard said. “[At] a lot of other schools, it can be loud, not a lot of people watching, a lot of people talking.”

All I ask is show respect and talk quietly. And maybe give the band parents their own section.