Varsity letters. Should band students receive varsity letters?

Charles Borus, Editor

Regardless of what sport one may play, such as football, soccer, golf or even marching band-those dreaded two words to which a lot of student athletes immediately assume are the geeks and nerds-all deserve recognition.

For high schoolers, it is a proud moment to sport their brand new Letterman jacket and sew on patches from the various activities they are involved in for everyone to see. When it comes to marching band, theatre and yes, even newspaper, letters do exist. However, these are not Varsity Letters. They are Band letters or letters for the activity a student participated in. They represent a different category from the mainstream sports. These letters stand out on their own. A band letter, for example, is smaller than the traditional Varsity Letter. For example, the word “BAND” inscribed into the bridge connecting the “U” together. Some schools, such as Rochester Adams High School, even have letters for academics.

Now, when it comes to athletic levels, I understand that marching band is not as physically demanding as football or soccer. However, it doesn’t mean that there is no athleticism involved. Athleticism is not just based on how fast you can run a mile or how far you can throw a football. Athleticism involves strength of mind as well. Across the county line in Troy Schools, marching band is viewed very differently. These students spend countless hours early in the morning, late at night and on weekends perfecting a very intricate show for a judge. The one difference is they play at a competition at least every week. While every band is unique, the common thread is that marching band members work very hard to present their performance.

As a clarinetist, I personally have put in many hours outside of the band practices to perfect my performance, just like in any other athlete. My band letter means more to me than just my marching band performance. It is a reflection of my band experience as a whole.