Tradition vs. Change

Photo on 11-3-14 at 11.38 PM #2

Today was pretty great. It all started when I walked down stairs and saw egg bagels and apple cinnamon cream creese that my mom brought back for me from New York. When you have a fantastic breakfast, it really gets the day started right!

From then on the day just ran really smoothly. It was the first day of the newest schedule, and while it is hard to tell until the first full week, it seems that it went pretty well; at least as well as the closest to a normal day while in high school can be.

Christmas music started today in band, and while I wasn’t there, I got the pieces. For the past at least 10 years the high school band has played the same Christmas songs at the Christmas Arts Showcase, but now we have a “new” conductor (he use to just be the lower school conductor, so most of us already new him), so no one knew what to expect. It’s a weird thing, some people hate that we always do the same songs, but most of the people in band have come accustomed to the songs and there have been really fond memories formed with them, so we want those same songs really badly.

Some people may say that we need to change songs because how can things get better if they always stay the same; innovation kind of has to have change, so being in ID why am I advocating for the same songs?

Well, I’ve grown attached to these songs. There is a certain comfort with coming back each year to play them and it makes you remember past years and experiences; the songs inspire reflections on how you’ve grown. Every year you find something that you play better than the year before and it is a nice reminder on your progress as a musician. Also, one of them involves the praise band and another in a sing-a-long, so there is the community side to the songs where everyone joins together for this concert. (Fittingly so since it is the Christmas concert.) Even the 8th graders, who have only played the song once themselves, want to join the high school band to play the tradition ones that they have been hearing since they were younger. It is a right of passage almost; a prerogative for staying in band for so long.

My friend who is now in college is still playing in band and she sent me a text when they started Christmas music about how sad it was to not be playing those songs with us. At the end of last year we made a “contract” on the back of all of her Christmas music sheets so she could formally pass them down to me and my best friend to carry on through our high school years.

No one in band is against playing other songs, but we want these 3 traditional ones. (By the way, the songs are African Bell Carol, Sleigh Ride, and Christmas Sing-A-Long.) It could be nice to have one or two new songs, and we usually do have at least one song each year that is different.

Change in necessary, but it has its time and place. Some times you need traditions to remain traditions so you can reflect on the past, admire how far you have come since then, and ponder about how far you will go.

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