Athletes Not the Only Ones Committing to Colleges

Anna Kinasewitz | Staff Writer

Senior Priyasha Bose joined band in eighth grade and has continued since, aiming to play in college.

Seven percent. That’s the percentage of high school athletes that go on to compete at the collegiate level. 

Tweets, Instagram posts, and celebrations are all made when an athlete decides to take the leap and commit to a school to continue their sports career. Hours of practice go into perfecting their skills and getting them to a “committing” level. But there’s another group putting in long hours of practice who also have hopes of continuing their careers at the college level. These dedicated performers are the members of the marching band.

Tubas, trumpets, and trombones alike decide if they want to continue their passion into their college career. Senior marching band member Priyasha Bose has been playing the flute for over seven years and joined the Mason Band program when she moved to Mason in eighth grade. Like any other athlete, her involvement in her activity has become a lifestyle. 

Senior Carter Tull, a trombone player, is looking to play at either Purdue or The Ohio State University.

“Band is a huge part of my life,” Bose said. “Going into college, I want to continue it since it’s a skill that I’ve built up and dedicated my life to. I just have fun. I’ve made all of my friends through band, I like playing, and I’m looking forward to seeing how other schools do it.”

Two of the schools Bose hoped to attend are both South Carolinian division one powerhouses. Clemson University and The University of South Carolina ask specific questions to their general applicants about interest in the marching band.

“My top two [schools] are both big, athletic schools that have huge marching bands,” Bose said. “They go to the football games and it’s a big deal considering it is the SEC and the ACC.”

Senior trombone player Carter Tull is considering two of America’s top college marching bands, The Ohio State University and Purdue University. He realized that once he moves on from high school, there will be some differences when it comes to the band techniques themselves.

“College marching bands do mostly halftime shows but don’t really compete like our MHS band,” Tull said. “I went to a couple of band camps this summer for Ohio State’s marching band. It’s a little bit different technique-wise. They did a chair-step march while we only do heel-toe technique at the high school. It’s more traditional and old-fashioned to get the look they’re aiming for.”

Deciding which college to attend proves difficult for nearly every high school student. However, when going on to commit, regardless of what the student committing is for, special consideration must be given that is specific to what the student is pursuing. 

“When I was thinking about marching band and college you have to look at things like, ‘do they have a football team?’, because if they don’t have a football team they don’t have a marching band,” Bose said. “You have to look at things like their school of music and how big of a part marching band is to their culture at the school. You don’t want it to separate you and keep you isolated.”

At MHS, marching band is a big part of the school’s culture, with hundreds involved in the program.  Tull said he looks at marching band as a chance to get involved with his future school, considering how his talents keep him very involved with MHS now.  

 “I enjoy marching band in high school and I’d like to do something exciting and meaningful wherever I go,” Tull said. “People always talk about getting involved in college and this is something I’m confident doing.”

Photos contributed by Mason Bands.