Thursday, September 13, 2007

Flip Folders

Ah, flip folders: The fallback crutch when memorization fails. It's one thing to use them for halftime, the stands, or postgame; in the realm of marching bands, let's consider those venial sins that allow for a greater variety of music or to guarantee the band knows pieces they just saw for the first time on Monday.

The mortal sin, then, is using flip folders for pregame, suggesting that the band cannot memorize its own fight song or music it plays every week. Sometimes the use of flip folders is optional and not uniformly enforced, so members using them stick out, brandishing their awkward plastic folios like a scarlet letter. It's like riding a tricycle: Sure, you can brag that you won't tip over, but you really ought to learn to ride a bike. Plus, what happens if you drop it? Now you're lost and hopeless, you owe money to the equipment staff, and you've violated another commandment of Michigan football: Don't trash the Big House!

6 comments:

Jeff said...

I was glad to see that the MMB ditched flip folders several years ago. When I marched (89~92), we still used 'em, and I couldn't stand it, having come from a high school where the music was memorized.

I think the part that bugged me the most was the asshat tOSU band member at the Skull Session in 1992. He introduced a new cheer that the trumpets were about to play as "Oops, I dropped my music." The lack of class bugged the hell out of me, as did the fact that he was right, at least in the sense that we could do without them.

Jeremy said...

The Skull Session is overrated and basically just a way to get the crowd to sing songs about Michigan sucking while the band is present. For other bands at which the crowd wouldn't direct such hostility, sure it's fun I guess. But it's wonderful that the MMB stopped attending last year.

Jeff said...

No longer attending the Skull Session? Glad to hear it. Though I will concede that I do have a good memory from that one in '92. The only thing we played was "Malaguena", and I distinctly remember looks of "damn!" on the faces of tOSU band members seated right in front of us started the song. (The arrangement had a huge moderato tempo Park-n-Blow at the beginning)

Aram said...

I thought the Skull Session was sort of cool the first time I went to Columbus. Then again, I was a wide-eyed freshman. It's basically an OSU pep rally, there's no need for us to play it, but I think we're just about the only band that doesn't. So I worry about the way we're perceived as a result, but still, getting treated like shit the entire time we're sitting there is pretty much the worst.

I also love how when the OSUMB marched in, stopped right in front of us, and then as soon as they were released to go into their seats, they all got in our faces and started yelling at us while we stood there at parade rest...

I will say this: I've never hated Jim Tressel and company more than when they strutted into Skull Session. That got me riled.

Wayne said...

I just stumbled across your blog and felt like I had to post. As a former OSUMB member (92-96, and by the way you are welcome for the John Cooper era), I hated to hear that Michigan's band stopped coming to Skull Session, although I can understand why they did. I was a band dork that actually liked to hear the other bands. Good luck this weekend. Should be a good game, but have to admit I am a bit nervous after our defense was exposed last weekend.

Jeremy said...

Thanks for reading, Wayne. I agree that there should be a way to showcase the bands together. (Though I also understand why a postgame show is out of the question).