Kevin Cunha: Marching band teaches life lessons

August 3, 2010 

I am a senior at Los Banos High School and I've been a member of the Los Banos High School band since my freshman year. The band is a lot more than people realize. It not only teaches kids how to play instruments, march and read music, the band also provides a stable environment for us students. No matter how things are at home or in other classes, we always know that we can go to practice and forget about everything else.

Marching band teaches many life lessons that transfer over into our school work and home lives. I have learned punctuality, responsibility, situation awareness and how to carry myself.

This coming year I have been given the responsibility of head drum captain. I am responsible for all who are part of the drumline. Last year I was the bass drum section leader. I did not do a good job. I waited until the last minute to get things done. I was frustrated with people and eventually wanted to quit. I see now that by enduring the problems, I have learned a lot. I learned that positive reinforcement works much better than punishments and that patience is a key to success. I have learned these lessons by being a member of the band. I don't believe I would have learned them in any academic class.

In addition to teaching life lessons, useful skills and providing a safe environment, marching band has taken me to places I would never be able to go on my own. We have represented Los Banos High by performing up and down California and beyond the state border. In April, our drumline competed in Dayton, Ohio, with others from around the world. Our 30-member group placed sixth in our division and we were proclaimed one of America's favorite performers.

Working closely with fellow band members on a daily basis creates a family atmosphere and your friends become your brothers and sisters. Many of these friendships will be taken to college and beyond and will last a lifetime.

But this experience comes with a cost. The Los Banos High School Band Foundation helps offset the cost of many activities and trips through the year. Your tax deductible donations do change the lives of many students who need to feel wanted, happy and useful. And along the way many find hidden talents in music and areas that they will bring back to Los Banos.

Thank you to those who have supported the band foundation over the years and if anyone would like to give their support, we would be most grateful. It is because of all of you that we have an awesome place to live and grow up.

-- Kevin Cunha

Los Banos

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