Friday, June 5, 2009

Band Camp Vs. Training Camp

The physical challenges and demands of participating in a competitive high school marching band are similar to those experienced by athletes who compete in sports like football, according to research presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting in Seattle.

Today, marching bands no longer just march in precision formation, study presenter Gary Granata, told Reuters Health. "In the past 20 years, marching bands have gone to these highly choreographed visual shows, where performers are literally running around the field at very high velocities with heavy instruments while playing very difficult passages."

"At the top levels of marching band and drum corps, you get a level of competition and athleticism that is equal to a division I athletic program," added Granata, an exercise physiologist, registered dietitian and owner of the New Orleans-based company PerformWell.


I know for a fact that being in a "real" marching band isn't easy. Real marching bands actually move while they are playing. The bands that stand still during their performances are just glorified pep bands. Anyway, you have to be in pretty good shape to play an instrument and march at the same time. I failed miserably when I attempted to play the trumpet in third grade. I was so bad that my band teacher moved me to cymbals. I was a bad ass motherf***** on those cymbals though.

Even though I respect marching band members, I think it's ridiculous to compare them to athletes. I played football in college and my team's training camp was grueling. We endured extremely hot temperatures while simultaneously trying to take each other's heads off. I know that marching bands practice in the heat, but the band members know that they aren't going to get hit by a guy that's 320 pounds. There are a few bands that have practices that rival the ones I experienced. The Marching 100 at my alma mater have a phenomenal practice regimen. Most bands, however, can't hold a candle to most teams when it comes to athleticism.

Big Boi from Outkast recorded a song called "Morris Brown" with the Morris Brown College Marching Band. I hope MBC is able to get back on its feet.

Music makes the world go round
Where it goes (where it goes)
Ya just don't know (ya just don't know)
My heart is like a marching band
I'm a fan in the stands
Yes I am and I'm hollerin hey baby
Sayin hey baby