Ahh. Here we see a herd of band geeks in their natural habitat: the band field (commonly mis-labeled as the football field). One should never make this mistake within earshot of the band geek. Band geeks and football players are natural enemies, thus competition for territory is fierce. Several sightings have been reported of Band geek herds numbering well into the hundreds and two hundreds. While Football players usually travel in smaller groups, they feel superior to the Band Geeks but tend to keep to themselves.
The band geek is a complex and fascinating creature, capable of moving at high speeds in unison to form complex and intricate shapes on the fields, as well as producing amazing musical sounds. Herds of band geeks will frequently gather on weekends to put on these displays, coming from all over the area to participate and often waiting hours at a time for their turn. Band geeks are best viewed during the fall season when they gather with their individual herds to practice for the regional gathering of the herds. Band geeks have been known to migrate huge distances simply to attend these gatherings, known as “tournaments” to the band geek.
Though the herds of band geeks move as a single unit, the herd is actually made up of numerous subspecies of band geek. There are four main classifications of band geek, each with its respective subspecies. The classifications are: Percussion, Brass, Woodwind and Pageantry, often called Color Guard.
The band geek herd is led by one to two Alpha band geeks, typically known as “drum majors.” The Drum Major may come from any known subspecies. Unlike other animals, the status of the Drum Major is not determined by popularity, talent, or strength, but rather the odd ability to wave their arms around for long periods of time. This is their main function and they labor under the delusion that other members of the herd are watching them. Although these customs are strange, they should never be questioned.
The Percussion band geek falls into one of two subspecies: the Drum Line, made up of bass drums, tenor drums, snares drums, and sometimes cymbals, and the Pit, so named because that is the place most of the band would like to push them into. There are major differences between these two subspecies. The Drum Line takes part in forming the musical and visual displays with the rest of the herd on the band field. They are the beat of the band --often keeping tempo when the herd is practicing. The pit, however, is stationary. They stay within a pack-rat like nest of instruments, most commonly found just in front of the Drum Major. The Pit is a nomadic group, packing and repacking their equipment frequently—often leaving behind traces where they once where.
Next we have the Brass classification, consisting of the Trumpet, Alto Horn, Trombone, Baritone, and Tuba subspecies. The Brass is predominantly male, with the exception of the Alto Horns. The Trumpets are the highest voice, often the largest of the brass subspecies and quite frequently the most annoying. They spend most of their time competing with one another to see who can play the loudest, highest, and sometimes ugliest note. Dynamic markings mean nothing to them—they play only loud or ear shattering. The Alto Horns have a slightly lower voice and are easier to tolerate than the Trumpet. They like to confuse other members of the herd by calling themselves Mellophones, or Marching French Horns. The Trombones, by contrast, are nearly as annoying as the Trumpets, but their instrument also doubles as a weapon--so be wary of provoking them. Unlike other species of brass, the Trombone has no valves. The typical Trombone spends most of its time swapping dirty jokes with the Baritones or fellow Trombones. The Baritones like to refer to themselves as Euphoniums. No one quite knows why. They like to talk to the Trombones without actually having to be one of them. Do not trust the Baritones. They spend their time plotting the downfall of other sections so that they can take over their solos. The tubas are the lowest voice and calmest of all the brass subspecies. Carrying such a large instrument will take the fight out of almost anyone. It is the dearest wish of many to destroy the woodwind section, particularly the flutes, for complaining about how heavy their tiny instruments are. Overall, the brass section is responsible for most of the sound and mayhem within the herd. One can usually identify one of these subspecies by the angle of their horns, tending to be facing any direction except forward. Also, these species seem to be more physically gifted than that of the woodwinds.
The woodwinds are natural enemies of the brass, despite being in the same herd. The woodwinds are typically smaller, calmer, and more maneuverable on the band field than the brass, yet typically cannot be heard due to the overwhelming sound of the brass. The brass does everything in their power to drown out the sound of the woodwinds. Subspecies of the woodwind include the saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Saxophones are brass wannabe’s. Their instrument is made of metal, and yet they are still classified as a woodwind. The sounds saxophones make vary in tone and pitch—sporadic high squealing can be herd, often mistaken for a piccolo mating cry. The lower saxophones even go so far as to stick close to the tubas during the musical displays, despite the best efforts of the tubas to avoid them. The clarinets are more tolerable than the saxophones. They tend to keep to themselves and attract relatively little animosity from other members of the herd. Many clarinets like to pretend they are really in the Color Guard classification and spin their instruments in their hands, much to the annoyance of other members of the herd. Keeping to themselves so much, clarinets are widely considered to be the least sane species of band geek. Finally, there are the flutes, the most enigmatic subspecies in the herd. They are made of metal, like the saxophones yet do not even have a wooden reed to give them claim to being a woodwind. However, due to the frequent loathing harbored by the tubas, the brass refuses to accept them as part of their group. The flutes are almost exclusively female and generally disliked by every other subspecies of band geek. The flute resembles a piece of plumbing and sounds like a dog whistle. They are typically clueless as to the hostility of other members of the herd and consider themselves to be the pinnacle of musical talent.
Lastly, we have the Pageantry/Color Guard. Like the flutes, they are almost exclusively female, though males have been known to exist. Unlike the rest of the herd, they produce no sound through the use of an instrument—although they are far from silent. The Pageantry typically consists of Sabres, Rifles, and Flags. Sabres spin fake sword-like objects and rifles spin large, fake guns. Why they find this entertaining is a mystery to the rest of the band geek herd. The flags spin and throw colorful banners as part of a display understood only by other Pageantry members. The woodwinds, percussion, and brass do not consider them to be true members of the herd because they produce no sound, but let them think they are in the herd. CAUTION: Members of these subspecies are extremely territorial and have been known to inflict bodily harm upon others. Encroachment could lead to injury, and possibly death.
The behavior of the band geek varies depending on the age of the individual. The youngest is known as the Freshman. Freshmen consider themselves to be the experts of the herd and have no problem telling others this. Freshmen are frequently the targets of a ritual known as “trash-canning,” performed whenever the upperclassmen are bored. The next age is the Sophomore, typically made up of those who managed to live through their Freshman year. Slightly more mature than the freshmen, they have finally learned that they are not the smartest members of the herd, yet continue to act that way. Next are the juniors. They try to hang around the seniors, act as immature as the sophomores, and are responsible for most of the pranks committed within the herd. Lastly are the seniors, the oldest members of the herd. Seniors know everything about band. Never question this. Seniors spend a majority of their time keeping the Freshmen in line and reminiscing about past field shows, usually finishing by saying the Freshmen aren’t nearly as good as they were—and definitely not as tall. Note: Seniors feel passionately about their past performances--imitations of these songs by underclassmen are to be done at their own risk.
The language of the band geek is unlike any other. While some of it resembles English, some words are known only to the band geek, such as Sectionals, Tempo, Horn flash, and Drill Charts. Conversely, some words in English are completely unknown to the band geek, words like Free Time, Individuality, and Lives. A majority of communication, however, is non-verbal and comes in the form of music produced by the instruments of the band geeks, or series of hand gestures.
In conclusion, the band geek is a fascinating individual worthy of further study, particularly for its complex social structure within the herd and its ability to produce intricate and well practiced musical and visual displays.
_jadedmemory sent me the link to this, which can be found here.