Not A Band, A Family

Ian Murphy

It is far too rare to hear high school students, particularly seniors, chat excitedly about their first class of the morning. The 2009-2010 Honors Symphonic Band, however, has had an overwhelming majority of its members buzzing with a vocalized fervor since the beginning of the school year. Aside from the benefits of involvement in the most advanced group in Horizon’s instrumental branch of the Performing Arts Department (such as the upcoming trip to California & the staggering amount of inside jokes), something much more nebulous and meaningful has bound this group together. Perhaps it has to do with the nature of music, itself.

“Music has, at least to me, always been something that I view as being so plainly a part of my being. To play an instrument really is to become one with an instrument. It becomes an extension of you. The act of breathing through and drawing sounds out of the instrument is, essentially, living through your instrument,” explains Mr. Brian Murphy, Director of Bands at Horizon, a slight and unavoidable grin overtaking him.

This notion rings with the clearest truth in the heart of nearly every Horizon instrumentalist. The shared Symphonic Band experience has metamorphosed into something so much more than merely playing instruments in a group; going to Band every morning means coming alive together, a collective of musicians. Doubtless, this means something pure and extremely beautiful to Symphonic Band members, but what does this have to do with the rest of you?

You must understand that Band is a profound example of the whole being more than the sum of its parts.  However, the students involved in Symphonic Band have chosen to continually search for the deeper essence of what it is that they do and, therefore, have found its true beauty. I believe I speak for all of these people when I say that coming to a thorough understanding of what it means to be a band kid is not only liberating, but nothing short of life-altering.

The true spirit of whatever you choose to do, as long as you do it with authenticity and honesty, is something just as beautiful as that of instrumental music. I implore every one of you to seek the absolute core of whatever it is that you love, and immerse yourselves in it.

The Symphonic Band has done this and has become so much more than a group of fifty-some-odd musicians.  It has become a family, a family that meets together five mornings every week and shares its insides with every person involved, most of the time without saying a word. This is the kind of beautiful coexistence that can occur between a troupe of eclectic and otherwise entirely unrelated people. This is the kind of experience that Horizon is about, learning to do something you love with other people who love it just as much as you do, with other people whom you come to love just as much as that something that you are learning to do.