There's a debate going on among marching band players, music directors, and music fans alike that starts off with this question: is marching band a sport? Some people think it is a sport because they work hard to compete against another band. Some others say that it's just another musical ensemble - with dancing girls, baton twirlers, and tall flags. To me, it's half-art, and half-sport. What do you think?
Well, I did marching band (and drum and bugle corps) in both high school and college, and I tell you what, a high-energy marching band or drum corps show can take a lot out of you.
It's not just walking and playing your instrument at the same time. It's coordinated motion, and coordinated music, and the motion is sometimes really really quick. Plus, throughout all that physical activity, you have to have enough air to play a wind instrument, and play it well.
At its most intense, yes, Marching Band is a sport, but it also transcends sport.
Is a ballet dancer an artist or an athlete?
I personally think you degrade it to call it a sport. It is art. When we look back at the heritage of Greece we recognize that they had sports, but we honor and seek to imitate their art. I am obviously biased, but I feel artistic endeavors do much more good for our society than sports. My wife, the doctor, would disagree with me on that...
Yes, I played the Tuba and was in the colorguard. I loved, but it was exhausting.
I don't see a difference between a ballet dancer, a gymnist, or an ice skater. They are athletes because they build their muscles to a high level of fitness in order to perform. But being exhausted from playing in a marching band does not qualify anyone as an athlete.
Sometimes we must split hairs in order to get to the reality. If not, then Mick jagger, Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, and James Brown would all have been considered as athletes. They are, and were, high-energy performers. It is my opinion that marching band members are performers, because they perform an act, like a singer or a pianist would.
Not really a sport, but eons ago, in high school, you couldn't be out of shape and hope to keep up. Marching back then for the musicians was much more aerobic than it is today (8 steps to every 5 yards, and don't forget to pick up your feet!) There was almost no standing in place and playing a song. It was constant motion out on the football field, with intricate pinwheel formations and many other things.
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