Here is a final word, or few words, to the Lenoir City High School Marching Band, the place where I have found my home over the past five years.
You all are so underappreciated by so many people, but coming from someone who has literally taken each step with you, I know you’re incredible. I know how hard you work, and let me say that I am incredibly and indescribably proud of each and every one of you. You have accomplished innumerable things that you may not even be aware of. Not very many people get to look behind the scenes at what makes this band function, but I have gotten to watch each of you give your utmost effort for this band.
I know it’s not just about walking around with an instrument in your hands. It’s about the bonds you make here, and the family you have found. It’s about not only learning to make music, but make a difference. It’s about inspiring others and giving everything you have. There’s so much sweat and pain poured into those ten minutes we are on the field, but that’s not all that we do.
Each of you knows the dedication it takes to be in a band, to BE a band. You have learned that this is so much more than the outside world gives you credit for. But I will tell you, I’ve never seen a more determined group of people than the ones I have spent the past five years with. I’m so proud of everything you have accomplished, whether individually or together.
You, my band and my family, are amazing.
You have helped me to find out who I truly am. You’ve molded me into the person I am today, and you’ve honestly saved my life. For these things as well as for the tiniest actions that you think go unnoticed (here’s a hint: they never go unnoticed), thank you.
I hope you all know I love each of you more than you could imagine. You are my best friends, and you are my home.
I dearly hope that I have proven to you all that I love you, and that I would do anything for you. Absolutely anything. I can only hope and pray that I have left a fraction of the impact on you that you have on me.
I’m not ready to give it up and to admit it’s over, but I know our season–my final one–has come to a close. It hurts to say it and think about it. Just realize I’ll never let go of the memories I’ve made with you. I will never let go of this band.
Thank you for five incredible years. I love you.