How many of you still remember the moment your parents waved goodbye to you from their car as you stood there trying to hold back tears? How many of you can still feel your hands shaking as you pulled open the door to the FAC for our first night of band camp? And how many of you can feel the weight of shoulders releasing as we sat in a circle on the floor and you realized you were home?
We weren’t all together on the dirty carpet for chorus, wind ensemble, jazz band or any other ensemble. We were all there because we have a passion, we needed a voice, we had a story to tell and the only place to do that was on the 50 yards line. I can still feel my sneakers filled with water as we rehearsed after a rainstorm. I can still hear the laughter in the air as one person after another fell. I can still see the glitter in my hair, and I can still feel the sweat on my face as we run off the field with a smile like no other. I can still feel the teleportation that happens in your body as the “Do you wanna know what grove is” blast from the intercom. My lungs are still out of air from blowing up hundreds of inflatable rhythm sticks. My feet are still confused from the dance warms especially the sashhas. And my heart is still full of love for everyone in that audience, and everyone in that group.
I came to Castleton because the Athletic Band made me feel welcome, I stayed at Castleton because I had a family in Athletic Band and I had finally found a place where I felt I belonged, and I’m ready to leave Castleton because the only marching band in ALL of Vermont is being cut by someone who knows nothing about music. What if I told you I could bring you to a place where you would be happy? You would have friends, you would be smiling for a guarantee 6 hours during the week and an entire day on the weekends. What if I gave you the chance to grow, and become the best version of yourself you have ever been? What if I let you dream as much as you could and no matter how bad things got you would always have something to look forward to? What if I then took everything away. No warning, no sympathy, and you’re left with nothing. But don’t worry it’ll be the same.
This is what happened to the Castleton Athletic Band. Students were told this on March 11th at 12:30 during a Performance Lab which is a class for only music students. Many members of the ensemble were not music majors, yet they were not going to be informed until Monday, March 15th. The decision was made official on February 25th, yet students were not informed until exactly 2 weeks later. To make this situation even better on February 19th work study students in the department were asked to move equipment from the marching band closet into a room in Woodruff Hall that is not suitable for students.
I understand that the Covid 19 pandemic has caused money problems around the world, but to have our program cut with no input from students, and no regards of what would happen next. Our program was unrepresented during this time and is still not being probably represented. Don’t let this stay quiet. You classmates, students, and friends deserve better than this.
– Danielle Solomon