Most people might not know that marching bands are popular in Japan. I think the good point of these bands is the power of sounds and changing formations. I first experienced it when I was a junior high school student. My band was composed of about 100 people and I participated in a lot of competitions as a clarinet player. About 20 schools from Saitama prefecture participated in one summer contest. Only schools chosen from this contest can participate in another one from Kantou district. Not all marching bands strive to aim for the national competitions like this, but we practiced hard every day to join those contests. Because of this, we were awarded many prizes. I was pleased at these results with everyone else. The clarinet players of my school had a good relationship and were very friendly. We got over several difficulties by helping each other and discussing our many worries. I still sometimes meet some of the band members, when we are sure to talk about our time in a band. For example, we remember camp that was held in summer vacation and our performance in front of Cinderella castle at the Disney land, participation in local music festivals and so on. During 2 weeks at summer camp, we practiced for the contests and took strict instruction from our teacher. I valued the experience because my high school didn’t have a marching band. This is one of the most important memories in my life.
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