The End of the Beginning

Chaos. Everywhere there is chaos. People running around, mostly in black and white. Most people carrying folders filled with paper.

Noise. Lots of noise. People talking, shouting. Several people blowing on instruments.

Order. Finally there is some order. The conductor has entered.

It's concert night at the local high school. The night when all the bands and choirs come together to perform for their supportive family and friends. The school has held this concert twice a year for five years. I have attended the school for five years and performed in nine concerts at the school for band. I'm one of the ones that just won't go away, I'm like the cat that came back the very next day.

I set up my saxophone and run through some of the songs. I'm in two of the bands this year. The first performance is all the grads from this year, which includes some of the returning grads from last year, me included. We play our song, the song we only had a day to prepare then take our places in the first band to play. We play our songs, all four of them, and walk off the stage. It's all routine now. Next is the jazz choir, I don't get to hear them as I'm in the music room preparing for the next performance, Jazz band. I change my shirt and run through some more music before following the line out onto stage and back under the bright lights. I'm a little sad this time, for the last few years I've had several solos for Jazz band, this time, however, I have none. Once again, we play our songs, this time only three, and leave the stage. It's time for intermission. I leave the music room to find my boyfriend waiting for me. I've been sent on a mission, he says. He's supposed to try and convince me not to stay for the second half of the concert; after all, I don't have to perform in it. I don't want to leave. I want to watch, I want to be able to actually see some performances before the night ends. So, I stay. I see the last band and the other choir. Everything sounds good, I clap. The two conductors are thanked, I clap loudly.

The concert is almost over. There's a few more words to be said and all of the sudden, like a brick wall, it hits me. This concert is the last concert I will perform in as a student of this school. I feel the tears starting to well up. I try to push them back, I don't want to cry. A few tears escape but I have it all under control in a bit. Then the end has officially arrived and everyone starts to leave. All I can think of as I stand up and walk out of the performance area is the fact that it is all over. After five years of being a music student at the same high school, after nine concerts for band, four for class, and six for festival, it's all over. Sure I can pursue music as a hobby, maybe even a profession, but this is where I really fell in love with music. It's wasn't where I started, but where I fell in love.

For the rest of the night I sit in the car, and then at home, and I started to cry numerous times. I don't want it to end, I wish my days of playing in the high school bands could last forever.

Someday I will go back and visit. See how the bands are doing, who's still there, and watch the concerts.