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Band Is Love, Band Is Life

“You need to be more expressive! Play out! The horn section is lacking in strength!”

 

That's because no one wants to play it.

 

She's not really wrong. The French horn is one of the absolute staple sounds of the ensemble, but who in their right mind would want to play that demon of an instrument when they could pick up a trumpet or something less unorthodox any other day? Park Jihyo to this day still doesn't quite understand how she chose to play such a monstrosity, especially one that collected so much spit.

 

French hornists: Some of the most underappreciated musicians in any given ensemble. Hard workers, dedicated, driven people, and almost always not of French descent. Scores a 6 out of 10 on the nerd scale.

 

“Too loud! Too loud! I told you horns, play pianissimo! And why do you sound like your chops are already busted, we’ve only just started rehearsal! Let the Bumblebees fly!”

 

“Rimsky-Korsakov, you are a .”

 


 

“SQUEEEAAA~KKK”

 

“MOTHERER SHUT THE UP!”

 

Chou Tzuyu cringed as a flying black binder flew past her head, barely missing the center of her forehead. The perpetrating students glowered at her angrily before storming away, leaving the clarinet player and her Chromatic Fantasy music by Bach alone in the open band room.

 

Clarinetist: Studious, serious, and most likely to enter an Ivy League school. Why college admissions find clarinet players so appealing, the world will never know. Do colleges know that the clarinet has some sort of inherent draw to intelligent kids, or have intelligent kids figured out that the clarinet is college admissions bait? Either way, some clarinet player must’ve figured it out already. Scores a 9 out of 10 on the nerd scale.

 

The tall girl sighed, at her reed and turning her attention back to the sheets before her. She pressed at her slightly sore mouth muscles and brought the clarinet back to her lips, ignoring the pictures of Squidward that continued to pop up on her Facebook page.

 

People can be such uncultured barbarians.

 


 

“BBAE SAE! BBAE SAE! SHOW ME YOUR BBAE SAE!”

 

“GO DAHYUN, GO DAHYUN!”

 

Kim Dahyun smiled crazily, enjoying the cheers of her peers as she continued to dance like a drunkard on the table. A massive food fight had ensued shortly after and she was loving every second of the makeshift mosh-pit environment she had created. It was almost as loud as her trumpet solo in Gustav Holst’s Jupiter.

 

Trumpet players: Loud, expressive, and almost always drunk. Never to be outshone and easily the most obnoxious section in the band. Scores a five out of ten on the nerd scale, despite the tendency to be loud, obnoxious, and flashy.

 

“KIM DAHYUN, PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE, NOW!”

 

She was still dancing even as she was dragged away, the cheers of her peers still echoing in her ears.

 


 

“Give it back!”

 

Son Chaeyoung glowered at the group of field hockey players who had her reed case in their sweaty hands. The athletes rolled their eyes at the tiny girl.

 

“Please, what’s so great about a box of two pieces of wood? These look like they could break any minute.” One girl eyed the box with disdain, clearly not understanding any bit of the oboe player’s distress.

 

Oboe players: A touch too timid and a little jumpy. Tends to like art and wear large glasses, and also gets mocked a lot. Maybe that’s why they’re one of the most strong-willed sections in the band. Scores a 10 out of 10 on the nerd scale.

 

Chaeyoung surged forward with a speed she didn’t know she possessed and snatched the precious black box from their hands. “That’s because these are expensive you idiot!” She ran away soon after, pushing her glasses up her nose and struggling to keep her bag on her shoulder.

 

The mockery was so real.

 


 

“Hey Mina!”

 

“Mina sunbae! Are you available after school today?”

 

“Do you read comic books?”

 

Myoui Mina coolly passed by the onlookers, smiling gently at the juniors who greeted her and casually ignoring the starstruck looks. She stopped by her locker to drop off some things, and her eyes fell on the near-empty box of Hemke size 3 ½ reeds.

 

“. I need to stop by the music store after school today.”

 

She took out her phone and quickly shot a text to her boss asking for her pay earlier than usual. After receiving a prompt okay, she put her phone away and sighed, gaze falling again on the reed box before closing the locker and heading to the band room, praying her new neckstrap would prevent her alto saxophone from having another damaging meeting with the floor today.

 

Saxophone players: Silent, y, spacy, and constantly giving off I-don’t-give-a- vibes. Contrary to popular belief, they actually know exactly what’s going on, and they’re actually much smarter than they seem. Two of two sections of the band that are remotely socially accepted at school. Scores a 3 out of 10 on the nerd scale, but a 9 out of 10 on the cool scale.

 

When she’d chosen her instrument, no one ever told her just how expensive maintenance could be.

 

(Hopefully Momo saved her some lunch today, she’s broke af.)

 


 

“Where’s my mallet bag?”

 

Mina looked up from her phone idly, slouched posture and feet propped up on another chair. “Can’t you just use those right there? They’re right next you.” She jutted her chin briefly in the general direction of the mallets.

 

Hirai Momo shook her head, clearly distraught. “No, I can’t use those. I need my other mallets, and they're in my bag.” She was still rummaging through her things, pulling out all sorts of school supplies and papers.

 

“Why can't you just use those?”

 

Momo finally whipped around. “Because, Mina, I’m playing the marimba part for the next song we’re doing! I can’t use hard wood mallets on a marimba! I need the ones wrapped in yarn! With the birch shafts! Do you want me to break a seventeen-thousand dollar rosewood marimba?!”

 

Mina rolled her eyes and returned to the game on her phone screen.

 

“You clearly don’t understand!” The distraught percussion player continued to rummage, throwing more papers astray in the air.

 

Percussionists:  Colorful, intuitive, and almost as y as the saxophone players. Some of the most passionate, creative musicians in the band, with problems much deeper than you could ever imagine. Scores a 2 out of 10 on the nerd scale.

 

And you all think it's just about hitting things with sticks.

 


 

Jeongyeon sulked silently at the back of the band. The conductor of the local marching band had recruited a few students from her high school to play for the upcoming march for some old people festival. She didn’t really know, but she didn’t mind as long as they provided free food.

 

She wouldn’t have agreed though, if she had known the conductor would be such a .

 

“I SAID, BELLS UP! DON’T YOU HAVE EYES? DON’T YOU HAVE EARS? CAN’T YOU SEE ME WAVING MY ARMS AT YOU TO RAISE THOSE GODDAM BELLS UP? NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO HEAR YOU IF YOU’RE SO WIMPY, DAMMIT!”

 

Jeongyeon and the others in her section grunted unhappily as they shifted the trombones up on their shoulders, making a great effort to raise their bells higher in the air.

 

Trombonists: Eccentric and slightly neurotic. Tends to be the of all bad days and grouchy conductors. Posses great right-shoulder strength and are experts at counting extremely long measure rests. Scores a 7 out of 10 on the nerd scale.

 

“DID YOU HEAR ME, YOO? UP!”

 


 

A yawn. The slight shuffling of papers, and another yawn. Someone smacked their lips. Someone dropped a pencil.

 

Nayeon looked over her shoulder at the so-called noise. She frowned boredly at the sight of the lazing percussionists behind her, turning back around when she failed to catch Momo’s eye. The conductor was currently ironing out a section of the piece with the flutes, effectively ignoring the rest of the band. Nayeon yawned as she slumped down in her seat, hugging her euphonium to her chest.

 

Euphonium players: Either seen as fortunate or completely unfortunate. Some days are full of plain quarter notes and rests, some with unreasonable runs and zero time to breath. Generally gets to laze around at the back of the band while trying to ignore the trombones and barry saxes. Scores a 7 out of 10 on the nerd scale.

 

“I just want you all to know, our next piece is going to be Beethoven’s 5th, so you all better be ready to transpose!”

 

Nayeon was already fast asleep.

 


 

“But conductor, my arm hurts!”

 

The conductor glared at her unforgivingly. “If you want to participate in my band, then you’ll abide by my rules. And my rules do not include any allowances for poor posture, Miss. Minatozaki.”

 

The flute player pouted but brought her right arm upright as the conductor gave her one last glare. She winced at the subtle ache in her shoulder.

 

Flutists: Cool, chic, I’m-better-than-you-always kind of petite. One of two sections of the band that are remotely socially accepted and, despite outwardly appearance, are secretely jacked in their right arms. Almost always complains of unfairness in long-note contests. Scores a 5 out of 10 on the nerd scale.

 

“Minatozaki, if I see you leaning that arm one more time you’re on clean-up duty for the marching band the rest of this week!”


People always rag on flute players because they have one of the most compact instrument cases in the band. Good thing too- these musicians need some time for that lactic acid to settle.

 

 

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