Music Cascading from My Fingertips

This is a piece I wrote in my Creative Nonfiction class that harkens back to my high school days…

As I walk around the corner of the high school, I am met by a wall of noise. Trumpets hit the high notes over and over, just because they can. Clarinets and flutes perfect their tricky runs by playing the same few notes on an endless loop. Tubas fill every crack and crevice of the football field with their deep meaty tones. And the percussionists hit anything and everything within their reach, drumming, always drumming.

The wall of noise is wild and untamed. To get to the podium I have to fight through this nearly impenetrable force. When I reach the podium, I climb the ladder, and with those few steps, I am granted authority.

I am the drum major.

The noise continues around me, pretending I don’t exist, until I raise my hands. I draw my fingers together while making a quick circular motion with my arms. Instantaneously, the noise stops.

I feel a rush of power surging through my fingertips. Now that I have my peers’ attention, I tell them we’re going to run the show from the top of the second movement. They scatter across the field to their rightful spots, and with a sweep of my arms, they begin to march and play. This time, instead of blaring noise, they’re creating music.

Lilting melodies and currents of harmony wash over me in a river of musical masterpiece. From my vantage point on the podium, it feels as through the very notes of the trills and runs and full-bellied chords are dancing out of my fingertips.