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30 Things Only A Malaysian Marching Band Member Will Understand

We're loud and proud!

Cover image via Pancaragam Perempuan St George/Facebook

1. That moment when you’re reeeeeally feeling it during a performance

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2. That feeling when your drum major says “Semula!” (or something similar) right after your nth time of repeating a formation

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Oh well, practise makes perfect!

3. When your conductor cuts you off right as you’re about to start playing

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Worse still, when you get cut off right after your 60-bar rest. Ugh!

4. When you have to do those embarrassing dance moves because it's time for 'display band'

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5. The perpetual feeling of tiredness

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And why wouldn’t you feel tired? Imagine having to perform for a school function at 8pm, then going home to sleep at 2am, then waking up in 3 hours at 5am to march in a Merdeka parade at 8am. #truestory Who needs sleep, amirite? (You do. YOU. DO!)

6. That feeling when your reed chips during a performance

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Play play SQUEAK play SQUEAK play play play SQUEAK

7. When the people in the brass section empty their spit valves

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Ew.

8. That annoying itch or bug when you’re in baris/at attention

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9. When you’re sweating like a maniac, but again, you’re in baris, so you can’t wipe your sweat away

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"Please don’t get into my eye... Please don’t get into my eye..."

10. When you sit in front of the percussion/brass section in the band room

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11. That feeling of pride when you watch a fellow Malaysian marching band perform

12. The hunger that follows after a tiring day of band practise

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13. The hard work and precision that goes into perfecting a simple, synchronised movement

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14. Watching videos of DCI drum corps and wanting to be a part of the action

15. THIS

16. How thirsty you feel during afternoon marching practise

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"Need… Water..."

17. The fact that 'suicide' means something else to the trombone line

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18. Playing old jiwang kind of songs at school concerts because your band can’t afford new music scores

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Typical song choices include Belaian Jiwa, Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin, Getaran Jiwa, and so on.

19. Dating someone from a rival school band be like

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20. You’re always given the same kind of snack every time you perform

21. You like to listen to orchestral pieces you’ve played before

And it’s perfectly normal to do this at get-togethers with your fellow band mates.

22. You end up walking in step with the people in front of/next to you out of habit

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Kiri… Kiri… Kiri kanan kiri…

23. You also walk heel first thanks to all the marching you’ve done

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Pacak kaki!

24. Your friends outside of band like to say you’ve joined a cult

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Meh. Who cares? Joining the marching band is one of the best decisions of your life. You get to be a part of something bigger than yourself. You get to be part of a family. How many people can say they’ve experienced all that in school?

25. You’re able to memorise 12-minutes worth of music, formations, AND movements, yet not able to memorise a couple of math formulas

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Band brain... ON!

26. You’ve watched Drumline numerous times because it’s probably one of the coolest marching band movies out there

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Btw, did you know there's Drumline 2 now?!

27. The amount of passionate speeches you give your juniors

"One band, one sound!"

28. You look forward to the next combine band/band exchange camp

Yay to new friends, and most importantly, to new music scores!

29. Knowing that you’ve built friendships that will last a lifetime...

30. ... and that you would do it all over again in a heartbeat

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Once a band member, always a band member =’)

BONUS for non-bandies: A POV of what it's like on the field, more or less

Do you have anything else to add to this list? Share it with us in the comments section below! :)

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