By Ken Martinson, Marching.com Founder
OWASSO, Okla. (Oct. 23, 2015) - A social media post about the dedication and teamwork found in marching bands has gone viral, spreading a positive message about the marching activity to tens of thousands of readers (so far).
"Band is a team activity and not one person is recognized publicly for their outstanding performance that week," the post reads. "Everyone works
hard, day in and day out, for the teamthe group, knowing that they will not be singled out for special recognition."
The message was originally posted to Facebook on October 16 and within days had gained traction. As of this writing, the original post has been shared more than 5,000 times, with some of the shares and reposts being
shared in even greater numbers.
The message was authored by Jana Gorham, a band director in Owasso, Oklahoma. She has been a band director for 34 years and currently spends most of her day teaching 6th and 7th graders, and
assisting with the high school marching band as time allows.
"I rarely post anything to the public on Facebook," Gorham said. "I'd had these thoughts swirling around in my head for a while but had not
shared them with anyone."
That all changed when Gorham was inspired during "senior night" on October 15, when senior band students were thanked for their years of dedication to the band program.
"As I watched each of our 82 senior band students make their way across the field, flanked by their proud parents, I was again reminded of how much band kids give, never expecting personal
attention or accolades, but doing what they do for the good of the group," Gorham said. "As I studied the parents' faces, I realized they do the same thing. They build props, fit and dispense
uniforms, sew flags, move equipment, work concession stands and much more. They do it for the kids and the organization, not for personal gain or recognition."
Gorham posted her sentiments around noon on October 16, knowing there were Owasso band parents and community members who would agree and would enjoy seeing those thoughts put into words.
"I didn't expect anything out of the ordinary when I made the post," Gorham said.
It wasn't until the next evening that Gorham detected something unusual.
"I didn't spend much time on Facebook until Saturday night because I was watching the live webcast of the Bands of America St. Louis Super Regional
," Gorham said.
"The first thing I noticed was a mountain of friend requests from people I didn't know.
"I have been shocked at the amount of feedback. I've received several messages from people letting me know how much they appreciated and agreed with my post."
The message continues to spread. A repost by The Woodlands High School Band in Texas has been shared more than 6,000 times, and the numbers have been climbing throughout the day ... a full week
after the original post.
The Full Post
Here's the full text of Gorham's message that was posted October 16.
K. So here's the big deal about high school marching band. Students spend hours upon hours working to perfect a show for performances that
will last around 8 minutes. Each performance is a big deal. If someone has a bad 20 seconds, it can wreak havoc on the entire band. If someone
is confused, or not quite sure of the next move, there is no opportunity to call time out and get clarification. The band gets 7-8 minutes to
showcase what they've spent hundreds of hours working on. They don't get 4 quarters, 2 halves, or 9 innings - just a few minutes. If someone isn't
feeling well, twists their ankle, or gets knocked on their rear, they can't call time-out and ask for a sub. The show must go on. After the
performance is over, not one performer will have their name in the paper, or get special recognition for their outstanding individual
performance. Band is a team activity and not one person is recognized publicly for their outstanding performance that week. Everyone works
hard, day in and day out, for the team-the group, knowing that they will not be singled out for special recognition. All the work is done for the
good of the group. That's extremely awesome. Hug a band kid, or at least give them a high 5 after their next performance. GO BAND!!!!
Regardless of how far her Facebook message travels, Gorham is pleasantly surprised that her message and passion for band students has generated so much interest.
"I've been blessed with several outstanding role models during my lifetime, and it is my passion to help shape kids into successful,
productive adults, through their participation in the band program," Gorham said. "The vast majority of us didn't choose this career to become rich and famous.
We chose it so we could share something very special with the kids whose paths we are fortunate enough to cross!"
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