The Parent Show

Metal poles and instruments glint against the blinding field lights and people cheer as flags are thrown up in unison, spinning suspensefully in the air.

The parent show is the final show at the end of the competition season for marching band. It is something that the parents and the performers look forward to each year as a goodbye for the seniors and a celebration of the season.

Senior Jasik Lands thoroughly enjoyed the parent show because of what this last show meant to him. Since he will be leaving this year, he realised this band show would be his last that he performed with the people he has grown to know over the past few years.

“It’s a free show to give parents and the entire community an opportunity to see the show one last time,” Lands said. “The students get one last opportunity to perform this show that they have cared for and grown attached to, similarly to that of an infant child. The seniors especially love it because it’s their last time ever performing the high school marching band show.”

With competitions and parades all around the state, and even in different states, the band requires money and dedication. The show allows parents see their kid perform in the show even if they haven’t been able to travel with the band itself.

“Both the parents and the students love the opportunity to take pictures with each other and with the props,” Lands said. “The parents especially love the fact that they can see their child perform. For some parents, this is the only time they get the chance to see the show as other competitions are either too far away, or they don’t want to or can’t spend the money to get into them.”

Junior Margaret Page loves the sense of connection between friends and family that comes from the parent show. She says that the last show is more like a relaxed run through everyone can enjoy.

“It’s a chance for us to show off all the hard work we have done to our parents and friends and have a chance to perform without all the pressure of a competition setting,” Page said. “It feels awesome to get the chance to show off your hard work and it’s a lot easier to connect with people which was our main goal of the season. Performing with my friends in front of my family gives me a feeling of happiness and connections like no other.”

The students want to perform well for their parents and friends, but Lands says they also take the show as an opportunity to have fun and not worry about being perfect.

“It feels great to be able to perform for loved ones. It’s a group of people who are there just to see you, so you know that they don’t really care if you miss a note or anything like that, they just care to see you perform,” Lands said. “It makes it to where we can just perform and not worry quite as much about being as close to perfect as possible because a judge is scoring us. This show gives the entire group some of the best energy during a performance, thus making it one of the most fun performances.”

While, for Page, each performance comes with a little bit of nerves, she thinks the parent show makes her feel more relaxed because of the fact she is performing for people she knows and loves, not performing for someone who wants to judge her.

“In my opinion, it is less nerve-racking to perform in front of friends and family because they have a lot less harsh opinions than a judge or other bands and most of them don’t really know what the requirements are so they are just amazed by anything we do,” Page said.

The parent show reminded Lands of the reasons he joined the marching band in the first place. From the friends he has made to the memories he will keep, Lands is glad that he made the decision to join the band family.

“I joined band for a few reasons,” Lands said. “One of them was to get better at my instrument, as I would be practicing it a lot more through marching band. Another was so I would be able to make new friends and to be able to go into high school already knowing people outside my grade level. The last reason I joined was to gain new experiences that most people don’t get to have. Experiences that, quite honestly, can’t even be put into words.”

With her fascination of the guard years prior to her actually joining, Page became a part of the guard and band family because of the way the the past parent shows she watched made her feel and how they inspired her.

“I joined guard because I would go and watch my brother perform when he was in marching band and the guard would always catch my eye and I’ve been in love ever since,” Page said. “I love performing because of the rush, giving the crowd your all and being able to impact people in a positive way.”

Even though Lands has already done his last performance of the season, he says he will always remember the experiences that he made with the marching band family and the feeling he got when he knew they put their all into a show.

“One of the things I love about performing is the feeling you get after a really good run of the show. It’s an indescribable feeling,” Lands said. “You hear the applause of the crowd and think ‘yup, that’s for us. That’s because they love what we just did.’ You know from that applause that you were able to make music that was able to connect with somebody in the audience, and that’s really all that we set out to do.”