Band Wife

March 2019 – visiting Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs with our 174 “kids.”

Spring Break involved a bus ride spanning four states with 174 teenagers and about a dozen adults. We traveled to the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado, arguably one of the most stunning spots in our country. Two years ago I did this on a trip to Disney World. Four years ago I was on a bus to Memphis.

I’m a Band Wife. My husband, Mr. Band Director, is a musician and a teacher, and his passion is showing young people how to make music a part of their everyday life. Mr. Director wakes up early and is excited to get to a before-school jazz rehearsal at the high school where he’s taught for 13 years. He leads his band during the day. After school, there are sectionals, auditions, lessons. In the evenings, there are sometimes performances, rehearsals, marching band during football season, pep band during basketball season. After an event, Mr. Director can’t leave until the last student is picked up. Weekends, there’s the occasional call: “Mr. Band Director, I forgot my instrument at school. Can you help me get it?”

I only tell you this so that you understand that for Mr. Director, this isn’t a 9-5 job. This is a calling. A lifestyle, in fact. When Mr. Director isn’t in the classroom, he is reading articles about more effective teaching methods, reaching out to other musicians to exchange ideas. At our dinner table, we sometimes get a music lesson, or tips on how to practice better to achieve mastery on an instrument.

Being a Band Wife isn’t a calling, but it is a lifestyle. Band wives know the literature. They understand the different sections of the band. They’re sitting on the sidelines at the football game and basketball game, cheering for the band (and the team, too!). They’re in the auditorium. They’re armed with lawn chair and mosquito spray in the back of the van for all the summer concerts outside.

So why do I spend spring break riding 18 hours on a coach bus, thankful for my neck pillow, crushing a bag filled with snacks between my ankles to keep it upright as we rumble along the highway?

Because it’s Band Tour, silly.

Those 174 kids are like our extended family. They shape the world our family lives in. Based on these 174, the world is in great hands. These are thoughtful kids who are kind to one another, who look out for each other, and make great music together. Even better, they aren’t shy about sharing their music with the rest of the world. Some of them will go on and do music as a career–performers, educators, songwriters, arrangers– and others will use music as a stress reliever or a side hustle outside of their “day jobs.” But they will always have music in their lives. My husband makes it his life’s work.

I get to watch my husband do what he loves. When a student is hurting, he cries with them. When a student makes a sudden connection with music, it can feed his soul for days. As the Band Wife, I have the best seat in the house.

8 thoughts on “Band Wife

  1. Deb Parkerson O'Connor April 4, 2019 / 7:46 am

    This is beautiful. Thank you for taking on my child as one of your 174. She benefits from it every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. V Ludkowski April 4, 2019 / 7:51 am

    Love your articles Carol. Have any pictures from trip? Also, do you happen to have a carpooling article for moms. Thanks

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 1 person

    • unwanting April 4, 2019 / 4:44 pm

      Yes, I took pictures, which I still need to upload to my FB page. What kind of carpooling article are you looking for? I did one years ago about taking my dog in the car, and that mentions carpool. That’s the only thing I can think of.

      Like

  3. Cheryl Turek April 4, 2019 / 12:58 pm

    And silly you are writting this at a very early hour! But of course you are, you are up awake and already seeing to your famil’s needs. Your love of your Band Director has been a glory that those who know you hve shared since the days we first met.

    Like

    • unwanting April 4, 2019 / 4:46 pm

      Awww, thanks, Cheryl! But I must confess … I am not an early riser, so I schedule my posts to go out early in the morning while I’m fast asleep! You are so sweet to say that. Being a band director’s wife is never boring, that’s for sure! xoxox

      Like

  4. elcrotser April 6, 2019 / 11:39 am

    Just had this post emailed to me. Thanks to you and Mr. Director and the others for taking our children to Colorado. My Tommy had an awesome time and made great memories. Also, thank you to Mr. Director for fostering the love for music in my other two children as well, one now following in his footsteps as a music teacher and the other performed in her college marching band. And being married to a drummer, I know that the love for music that the directors and teachers instilled in their students becomes a life long passion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • unwanting April 6, 2019 / 11:44 am

      Mr. Director and I are sitting here having lunch together, and your words nearly take his breath away. I can tell you he loves going to work every day. The great kids he works with are products of their thoughtful, caring, intentional parents like you! I’m happy you have lots of music in your family, and that it will continue! Thank you for taking the time to write a sweet note! It means a lot!

      Like

  5. Gary A Wilson September 21, 2019 / 7:22 pm

    Hi Carol. My oldest, a son, was born with the guitar gene and playing at making music with his blocks before he was 2 years old. Given I can’t find any written medical evidence for it, it must be his calling. This is all good because at 26, he is now the young adults director at our church and plays every Sunday at either our church or another further north of where we live. We wove what his gift must mean into our discussions at home about the difference between playing to entertain and playing to lead others in worship and we are thrilled that he “gets it”, and now is living it. Working closely with our worship pastor and the whole pastoral team has taught him what service planning is all about and we’re pretty sure God has a slot for him somewhere in the ministry.. What a ride it’s going to be. BTW – you sound very close to the perfect band wife. Blessings.

    Like

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