And So Ends An Epic Season of Marching Band.
Looking down from the top of Christie Pitts Park, I could see another marching band practicing their choreography. They looked pretty intense. They were from a small town in the US, but I knew they were no match to the mighty North Toronto Collegiate Institute’s sheer awesomeness. For those of you who don’t know us, we are the proud and the few. We are the North Toronto Marching Band. The Marching Band season has just ended, and we have had many spectacular performances, but most notably, the epic Toronto Santa Claus Parade.
CTV’s coverage of the parade was bordering on being abysmal, which is why it took me a while to figure out why we got airtime over the other bands (albeit our total was not a touch past 15 seconds). I mean, other Marching Bands got airtime, but there was only one other school that was broadcasted. I finally came to a conclusion. We didn’t necessarily sound the best, weren’t the biggest, and were definitely not the most coordinated with our left-right-left marching. So, was it our costumes? No, I don’t think it was, awesome as they are. Was it our spectacular baton twirlers? No, we don’t have those. Then it finally hit me: we radiate fun. As corny as that sounds, I think it is true. Waiting for the parade to begin and during the parade, NT had the most fun out of any of the other bands. While the rest of the bands were practicing their tunes, we were frolicking along the hill like the giddy children that we all are at heart.
It being my first year at NT, I didn’t really know what to expect for the parade, though I was slightly disconcerted by my older sister’s anecdotes about “marching in foot-deep snow, uphill all the way”. During the parade I got my first taste of what makes the band so great as we were passing the Royal Ontario Museum on Bloor Street. Being in the lower brass, I was situated at the back of the band, bringing up the rear. As we began what was to be a wonderful rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, our section leader told us to go and high-five the crowd when we finished the song. Sure enough, I heard “GO!” and lumbered away trying not to trip while carrying my sousaphone, and began passing right by the crowds, saying “Happy Holidays!” as I passed by kids. I don’t know if it was my irresistible charm or the instrument I was wearing, but they were grinning ear-to-ear. That’s right, NT students were doing some good old-fashioned mingling.
There’s something about NT’s band that sets us apart from the rest. Whether that be our retro uniforms, inspiring student leaders, skillful playing, dedication to morning practices, or Ms. Monteith’s watchful eye. To end this, I want to quote Mr. McNaughton who passed on some inspiring words of encouragement to me as I was about to cross the start line. “Jack, you sound good. Make sure to control your breathing, or you may pass out in the street. It will be embarrassing.”