Not realizing there was a tradition of band beginning with the older two, I just assumed that we would be orchestra parents for the next years as well as band parents until her older sisters graduated. One of Amy’s older siblings and friends had plans for Amy that would situate her in the band as well. The friends began teaching her about various percussion instruments. By the time she had reached her freshman year, she was well versed in playing the marimba, chimes, and vibraphone plus a myriad of other percussion instruments. She did join the marching band and performed in the pit.
Amy, a superb musician, excelled with her cello and in the pit. She played in the All State Orchestra all four years of high school and even played her cello with the Alan C. Pope percussion group under the direction of David Starnes at PASIC during her senior year. By graduation, she was accepted into the Ohio State School of Music. Amy is currently a paratrooper in the U.S. Army Reserve while being a wife and mother of two children, a boy and a girl.
Why do I tell you about Amy?
Because Amy has always been one to accept a challenge and run with it, she accepted my challenge issued to our children at Sunday dinner. I asked if any of them would be interested in helping me with a blog explaining the effect of having an actively involved parent in the music program in which they participated. Here are the words of Amy…
“The slow third movement was winding to a close. I was a senior, and this was it. My make it or break it moment was a three measure solo at the Bands of America Regional Finals that brought the entire band into the fast-paced fourth movement. The notes rang out of the vibraphone clear and pure; the band joined, and we finished the show of a lifetime.
‘Twelve years later and I still remember that moment like it was yesterday. I remember this moment because the people I loved were in the stands and on the field to share it with me. As one of seven children, I don’t know how my parents managed to be seemingly everywhere all of the time. During my teenage years, to be honest, sometimes it was annoying. I, like every other child, did not want my parents around every second of every day. But, I will say, at other times, it was a relief to look into the stands and see my family looking back at me. For years my parents sat in the same spot in the stadium at Pope High School, two rows up on the fifty. They never missed a game or a competition.
‘With my own daughter now in high school marching band, I see firsthand the difference that it is making in her life. My husband was new to the band world, and has adjusted quickly to the long hours, fast pace, and lack of weekends between July and November. The view is different on the sidelines as a parent, but knowing the benefits she is receiving, it is well worth the time and effort.
‘Now every Friday my husband and I climb the stairs to our seats in the fourth row on the forty. Some of those nights, I am lucky enough to have my Mom and Dad cheering beside me. For that small moment in time, three generations are brought together by two simple things: the love of music and family. And while she might not appreciate the sacrifice now, in ten years I know our daughter will remember looking up into the stands and seeing her family there.”
Amy Mourdock Fields