As a former Sylvania High School Marching Ram, I’ve had the privilege of seeing various bands across the county and state perform throughout my high school years and after.

Every year I would look forward to watching everyone’s halftime shows and the quality of participation from both students and music educators. My band director, Mr. Rodney Fike, was the best we could have asked for. He was engaging and motivating, always pushing us and encouraging us to do our best.

Some people may not understand the amount of work that goes into a halftime show, the hours dedicated, the coordination from all sections and the countless hours music educators put into the quality of teaching music.

These band students are not only talented instrumentalists, they are a unit that learns to operate as a whole, just like in any other sport. To this day, I cheer for every band at every school football game that I attend on Friday nights during football season because they deserve the recognition for their work and dedication.

It saddens me not to have the crowd engaged or acknowledge these young musicians simply because many do not consider band a sport. These students are a part of your schools and communities. They deserved your applause and enthusiasm as much as any athlete does.

I encourage our readers to cheer, motivate and support your local high school marching bands on the field and off the field. As a former band kid, I can say it means something to those young performers.

It takes more than only parental support. It takes a community and school support to continue a successful band program at any high school. We have a wide variety of talented band directors in DeKalb County leading these young musicians, and they need all the support they can get.

I leave you with a quote from George N. Parks, music director of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band, “A band is not proud because it performs well; it performs well because it is proud.”

Cinthia Rico is a staff writer for the Times-Journal. She can be reached at cinthia.rico@times-journal.com.

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