Nov. 17, 2006

After graduation I know I will look back on my years at the University of Notre Dame with fondest memories of the band. Throughout the past four years I have found many great friends in band and I cannot imagine my college experience without them. As a member of the saxophone section I have met lifelong friends and enjoyed so many great times. The friendships made last far beyond the time spent at band practice and football games. These friends have become an essential part of my social life on the weekends, throughout spring semester, and into the summer.

The amount of time spent with the band in the fall allows close relationships to develop with your fellow marchers. I have become particularly good friends with two girls in the saxophone section. Since freshman year we have grown to know each other so well and I can’t imagine being at Notre Dame without them. One great aspect of the Notre Dame Band is that not only do students encounter so many opportunities on their own, but when the band travels to away games and on bowl trips members experience these events with their best friends.

The main reason so many students enjoy being a part of the band is to support the football team. My favorite football memory occurred this year when the Irish overcame a 16-point deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter to beat the Spartans 40-37. While it rained on-and-off throughout the game, at the beginning of the third quarter the winds gusted above 30 miles-per-hour and a downpour of rain caused the teams and fans to be completely soaked. The band donned its oversized raincoats and continued to show our support for the team and play even as notes of our music blurred together and our instruments became filled with water. While we were drenched through to our skin, the team never lost hope and neither did the band. When the rain subsided and many fans stood in the stadium shivering, the band played every defensive song we knew as Michigan State marched down the field. I don’t think my friends or I have ever put so much effort into playing our saxophones, but the efforts paid off when the Spartans could not convert a fourth down and the Irish took over. With each down the Irish converted and each touchdown made, the saxophones jumped up and down screaming, throwing water everywhere. Despite the cold and the rain, I will never forget the intense excitement the band felt when the Irish won.

As a senior, today will be my last day marching with the band. When we perform the Alma Mater at the end of our halftime show it will be hard to hold back my tears. I know that never again will I feel so much love and passion from such a wonderful organization both on and off the field. I know the friendships I have found in the band will last well beyond the end of the football season and I will always have my memories to hold on to.