May 1984, band competition in Montreal where we won a first-place trophy.
People have been posting photos, videos and reminiscences of years past, so of course I went hunting for some photos of my own.
This picture captures the final competition of my senior year. We were on fire. I can still hear the music, and feel the excitement building. We hit every note and mark — the crowd cheering us every step of the way, and giving us a standing ovation as we hit the final note.
I’ve never again quite captured the joy and exhilaration that accompanied that day, although I’ve come close a few times.
Someone’s mom or dad had tried to film the performance — those were still the days of VHS tapes — but I never saw the footage. I don’t have to, though. Like all those people posting on Facebook this week, I see it all in my mind’s eye, I feel every note, stand a little straighter when that drum cadence starts and can still play riffs from our signature marches from memory.
It was enormously great fun to return five years ago for the 65th celebration (even if seeing me on the field was perhaps the most embarrassing thing a 12-year-old Catherine could have endured at the time).
As I have written before, I was unemployed at the time, looking to reinvent myself professionally, and searching for my first mother. Having to learn that music again kept me grounded through it all, and made me realize just what an amazing gift I’d been given all those years ago, back when the thought of practicing my clarinet equaled torture!
HOLY COW has a lot changed for me in five years. New, exciting job. “New” family to get to know. A daughter ready to start her own grownup adventures soon.
And still the band is there, providing a soundtrack for it all.
Click here for some footage of us from the 65th celebration. Scroll to 1:04 to see the alumni — some of whom had been high school students in the 1940s — back on the field again, still the Pride of Port Chester.
As you might guess, I can hardly wait for June.
Wild horses won’t keep me away — even though, as luck would have it, the date coincides with Catherine’s senior prom.
Come hell or high water, I WILL GET to the afternoon concert, back to Greenwich to see my girl in her finery before she’s whisked away like Cinderella, and then back to perform at band night.
Basil’s on notice already that he will drive wherever I tell him, whenever I tell him, that day, no questions asked!