All too often the marching arts takes a back stage to more traditional sports because of the stereotype of marching band. Many times the band is seen as support to the football team, the soundtrack to pep rallies, and the spirit of the school. And, band wouldn’t exist without these sports.
So the more traditional sports get the first wave of support and band is left scrambling.
For Kylie Smith, a member of the band at Walton High School (FL), playing second fiddle isn’t going to fly anymore.
“I feel like people really underestimate what it is that we do,” Smith said. “So they just put us on the bottom of the totem pole because they don’t consider us a sport.”
The reality is that the marching arts have outgrown these “old stereotypes” and have established it’s OWN place within the community. Both in the arts and in sports.
Smith decided to take her frustrations and voice that to her school’s administration.
Smith penned a letter (full transcript below) laying out examples of where she felt like her band program was not getting the proper support from her school’s administration.
“I felt the need to write this letter for several reasons,” Smith said. “Ever since I joined band my sophomore year, I have witnessed this program be put on the back burner time after time. It is saddening to watch this happen to such a hardworking group of dedicated kids.”
Smith goes on to list examples of the band and indoor programs struggling to find rehearsal space. An all to common occurrence for the marching arts.
“I was also a gold medalist in the winter guard my sophomore year,” Smith says.”And at the pep rally in spring they announced everyone, but mentioned nothing about guard. There are several banners all around the school for sports but none about band.”
Smith posted a video of her reading the letter she sent to the school’s administration on Facebook. Her words touched a nerve within the marching arts and quickly spread.
Almost 200,000 views later the video is still making it’s way throughout the marching arts.